ACP YPN expert, Rhody-Ann THORPE, presents her paper on “Educational Developments in the English-Speaking Caribbean in a post-colonial context” at the Université du Littoral Cote d’Opale

On 19th November 2018, ACP YPN expert Rhody-Ann THORPE presented her paper on “Educational Developments in the English-Speaking Caribbean in a post colonial context” at the Université du Littoral Cote d’Opale in France, during the university’s annual research conference. The conference was entitled “Education and learning in English-Speaking and French-Speaking Countries: heritage, context and representations and also welcomed scholars from France, the UK, French Guyana; Rhody-Ann was the only Caribbean representative on the panel.

Rhody-Ann’s paper looked at how the Caribbean region constitutes a multidimensional space which is characterized by cultural, political and socio-economical diversity; as well as a shared colonial heritage. In particular, it expounded on how policy in the domain of Education was first pursued during the colonial era and the impact that it had on access, curriculum and teacher training. It also examined how these countries, which are mainly classed as developing countries, have adapted to the post colonial context which is also characterised by regionalism and how this has in turn impacted on education systems on all levels.

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This paper comes at a crucial time when discourses related to reparations by foreign universities are multiplying; including the University of Glasgow which has started investigations with regards to its potential role in slavery. Furthermore, the colonial heritage in the Caribbean space is still quite topical as several days prior to the presentation, the countries of Antigua&Barbuda and Grenada organised a referendum to replace the British judicial Committee of the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice. As Education occupies a preponderant place in public and budget policies led by Caribbean states, looking at educational developments with a post colonial lens is therefore quite relevant. In fact, the focus of Rhody-Ann’s PhD study is on the British influence on higher education policy in the English-Speaking Caribbean and in Ireland.

By Rhody-Ann THORPE – Get in touch with Rhody-Ann THORPE via Linkedin

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ACP YPN Experts, Adélaïde Hirwe and Kelly-Ann Fonderson at S&D Africa Week 2018

On 5-9 November 2018, ACP YPN Experts Adélaïde  Hirwe and Kelly-Ann Fonderson attended S&D 3rd annual Africa Week at the European Parliament in Brussels to represent the African youth diaspora. They and 20 other youth representatives from Africa and Europe published a Youth Declaration which has now been submitted to leaders in the European Union and African Union.

K-A Fonderson presenting
Kelly-Ann Fonderson presenting on strong institutions
A Hirwe presenting on young contributions in their communities and SDG
Adélaïde Hirwe presenting on youth contribution to their communities

Kelly-Ann Fonderson facilitated the third session on strong institutions for reducing inequality, promoting decent and sustainable growth for a lasting peace and security. She argued that the inclusion of youth is quintessential to promoting sustainable growth and lasting peace especially in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa where youth represent the largest proportion of the population. She raised the need for youth forums where young people can influence policy and develop leadership skills. She emphasized the need for transparency in institutions to foster greater accountability to the people they are intended to serve. Finally, Kelly-Ann Fonderson called for a revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement ending in 2020 with regards to the economic pillar. She highlighted the need to enhance effective participation from relevant non-state actors especially at the regional level.

Adélaïde  Hirwe facilitated the fourth session on the first day of Africa week. She introduced the debate on the role of young people in their community for economic and social development leading to a sustainable future. She argued with reference to some examples that youth already contribute to the economic and social development in their communities. She highlighted the role digitalisation plays in enabling youth to better contribute to SDGs however acknowledged access to digital tools as a challenge many still face. Adélaïde Hirwe emphasized the need for policies to be tailored to local realities, in particular those aimed at young entrepreneurs who so often contribute to their communities through informal businesses.  She noted that ACP YPN encourages institutions to have further cooperation with youth organisations and multistakeholder synergy.

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On the second day of Africa week, Adélaïde  and Kelly Ann joined the youth leaders to draw the message of the youth. Kelly-Ann worked with a subgroup on strong institutions, sustainable growth and good governance. Adélaïde worked on education, skills development, digitalisation and entrepreneurship. The recommendations were focused on the need to adapt the economic, financial and educational systems to the needs of young local entrepreneurs who are often from the informal sector and emphasised the importance of giving young people access to new technology with appropriate solutions to the energy problem.

Some of the recommendations they helped draw were:

  • School programs need to be reformed to fit the realities and demands of the country as well as national and international contexts.
  • A financing system adapted to the realities of the field is required so that young people can build their business.

In conclusion, the youth believe that the future relationship between Africa and the EU should be one based on partnership and collaboration.

 

By Adélaïde Hirwe and Kelly-Ann Fonderson – Get in touch with Adélaïde via Linkedin  and Kelly-Ann via Linkedin

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