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CDB invests $20 million in Saint Lucia education and youth

INVESTING IN YOUNG PEOPLE: One of the projects funded by the Caribbean Development Bank will aim to strengthen the island’s education system

THE CARIBBEAN Development Bank (CDB) is to invest $20 million in Saint Lucia for education and youth development programmes.

Last week the CDB launched the Saint Lucia Education Quality Improvement Project (EQuIP) and the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP).

Idamay Denny, portfolio manager at CDB, said: “These two projects are designed to holistically address a number of the risk factors for sub-optimal educational outcomes, crime and violence, as well as deviant and anti-social behaviour that are affecting youth in a number of schools and communities across Saint Lucia.

"Specifically, EQuIP is expected to improve quality, equity, efficiency and effectiveness of the education system, making it responsive to the needs of diverse learners.”

The two youth-focused interventions will respectively aim to provide support for at risk youth and enhance the assistance given to children with special educational needs.

EQuIP’s objective is to strengthen the island’s education system by expanding and rehabilitating four selected institutions, and through the overall advancement of educational leadership and training for those within the education system.

At-risk young people and their families will be supported by YEP. It will function to improve access to social services and introduce new, targeted programmes.

Gale T. C. Rigobert, Saint Lucia minister of education, innovation, gender relations and sustainable development, said: “The fundamental reality is such that, when we provide a platform for every child to flourish within their own right, we as a nation succeed. This is the commitment of the Department of Education, and by extension, the government of Saint Lucia.”

The investment from the CDB will be split across the two projects with $16.2 million going towards EQuIP and $3.7 million going towards YEP.

The financial support of the initiatives is part of the bank’s objective to support inclusive and sustainable growth and development, as well as its aim to improve the quality of and access to education and training and citizen security.

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