Developing policies on open educational resources and open access in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Two consultative workshops were recently organized by UNESCO’s Kingston Office in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The first event, on 24 and 25 March 2013, facilitated the development of an Open Education Resource (OER) policy within the existing ICT in education policy. The second one, on 26 and 27 March, focused on better understanding of open access and the development of such policy for the country.
Eighteen policy makers from the Ministry of Education and community colleges got together for the workshop on OER to brainstorm on essential elements to be incorporated in an OER policy. They stressed the need to align it to the national educational goals, plans and strategies. The decision-makers in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines expressed a strong desire to locate an OER policy within the existing draft policy on ICT in education. Consequently, the workshop expanded its scope to focus on defining the key elements of the revised ICT in education policy for the country. Strong commitment was expressed to use open licences (specifically, Creative Commons) for all educational and research materials produced with public funds.
This first workshop was facilitated by Neil Butcher, a South African educational technology specialist, who will draft a revised policy on ICT in education and OER and present it to the Ministry of Education and the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines before the end of July 2013.
The workshop on open access gathered twelve policy makers, librarians and academics from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who expressed their strong commitment to use open access in all scientific and educational research materials produced with public funds. The workshop was facilitated by Swarna Bandara, a Jamaican open access specialist, who will draft an open access policy. The draft policy will be presented to the Government before the end of July 2013. This event received a generous contribution of the government of Japan, through its Fund-in-trust.
The two workshops were organized in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Learning, Ministries of Education, and of Science and Technology, the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the National Commission for UNESCO.