Code Caribbean: Promoting STEAM for Innovation in the Caribbean
Friday, August 5th, 2022
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has announced that Belize and Barbados have been chosen for the pilot project of ‘Code Caribbean: Promoting STEAM for Innovation in the Caribbean.’ Belize was selected from among the 7 Caribbean countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, and the Bahamas that are part of the regional initiative. This will be implemented in collaboration with The Trust for the Americas, Code.org, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Ministries of Education of Belize and Barbados.
The Code Caribbean program is a two-year computer science curriculum coupled with socio-emotional and entrepreneurial skills targeting 11-13 year olds. The pilot will be implemented in a select group of schools that meet the technical requirements and will be offered to standard 5 and 6 students, approximately affecting 2000 students for both grades. The computer science program will be taught as part of the regular school day and will follow the open-source curriculum developed by Code.org. Approximately 40 schools will be selected with 80-90 classrooms for program participation with 1 teacher per classroom. The program will also provide training to approximately 100 computer science teachers in the participating schools using materials developed by Code.org.
The objectives of the program are to expand technological skills in computer science that are key to innovation and diversification at the end of primary and early secondary schools, to create closer relationships between the Ministries of Education and the private sector, and to address the needs of disadvantaged youth in the CARICOM countries which would eventually be integrated into the education system of the participating countries.
Based on the experiences made in Belize and Barbados, a plan for national roll-out will be developed during the execution period, and the results of the pilot program will be shared with all the participating countries in the regional cooperation grant. Implementation is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2022/2023 and the school year 2023/24.
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