Remarks by
Jean Ricot Dormeus,
OAS Representative
Profuturo training workshop
July 19, 2019
Representatives of the Ministry of Education,
Profuturo facilitators,
Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,


It is with delight that I join the culmination of a productive and hope building workshop where we strengthened and empowered links to the primary education chain. For eight days we have introduced cutting edge innovation technique and technology to administrative staff of the Ministry of Education, school principals and trainers of trainers. We carried out this program with much energy and enthusiasm, because we have been laying a rock solid foundation for the children of Guyana to be better equipped for the dream country they are expected to erect. We have been helping to advance the vision of the Guyanese authorities for a modern and excellent quality education with particular emphasis on the English language, mathematics and life skills.

I would like to thank the people and Government of Guyana for partnering the Organization of American States (OAS) and Profuturo in such a thrilling endeavor. In particular, I would like to recognize Minister of Education Nicolette Henry who traveled to Washington DC on May 24 last and signed with Secretary General Luis Almagro and former Director of ProFuturo Ms. Sofía Fernández the digital education agreement. I also express my gratitude to Officials in the Ministry of Education, including Mr. Yoganand Indarsingh, Head – Management Information Systems Unit and Mr. Godfrey Munroe, Head of IT Admin and Support – MIS Unit, for the dedication they showed in organizing this training workshop.

We know that the gap between developed and developing countries mostly reflects a gap in education and relevant knowledge. If we get to narrow this gap, we will place our societies on a fast forward trajectory and in a position to achieve and champion exceptional levels of progress. Based on this realization, Telefónica Foundation and “La Caixa” Foundation from Spain, launched in 2016 the education program ProFuturo, a quality digital education program for children in vulnerable environments in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

This is the first time ProFuturo arrives to the Caribbean and it’s doing so in partnership with the OAS. Both the Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI) and and the Inter-American Commission for Telecommunications (CITEL) of the OAS are actively engaged in the execution process. The ProFuturo Program includes three main components:
1) Supply of equipment for digital classrooms (tablets, laptop, projector, router, etc.),
2) sharing of virtual educational content (for math, English language, and life skills) and,
3) training for primary school teachers on innovation in education.

This first edition will benefit 5 countries: Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Saint Lucia. Guyana was the first country that joined the program. 449 teachers from 28 schools will be trained in the use of technologies and the incorporation of innovative methodologies in their elementary classes. Over 5,000 students in the country will have access to digital content and interactive materials for the improvement of their learning experience.

The ProFuturo program has reached Guyana at an opportune time, in the verge of great oil bonanza. The heavy use of ICT’s will certainly prepare our children to develop skills that will optimize their advantages and help them make the most of their resources. With this high octane education permeating the whole country, Guyana will be a shining city on the hill and a lighthouse for the whole Caribbean region.

The workshop that concludes today would not have been possible without partnership and unity among many players. The OAS brings the ProFuturo opportunity to the Caribbean thanks to unity and partnership. The outcome of such a strategy tells me that our societies, institutions and businesses can work wonders with collaboration among the stakeholders.

Further, the ProFuturo program highlights the importance of Public-Private Partnerships. Our countries will go a long way if we pool our resources, our skills and drive, whether from the private or the public sector. United we stand, divided we fall. This is the sobering reality of life.

Finally, the ProFuturo program has particular relevance for the Inter-American Education Agenda. In engaging therein, we are following the shadow the first two pillars of the agenda to provide quality, inclusive and equitable education, and to strengthen the teaching profession.

I discern that you the participants in this workshop had enjoyed the contributions of great facilitators. You have become the light bearers of effective learning to thousands of children in Guyana. Because you will honor the knowledge you have received, Guyana will become a better place as more Guyanese will take pleasure in using technology to learn and acquire skills. Congratulations to you participants! The OAS trusts that your contributions to Guyana will inspire the Caribbean.

In closing, I wish to thank our ProFututo partners Telefónica Foundation and “La Caixa” Foundation from Spain. The OAS reiterates its pledge to keep working with the people and Government of Guyana for a better future. Together, let’s make this first step a journey that will take us to the limit of our potential.

Thank you and God bless you!

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