Representatives from 8 countries work on solutions for post-Covid school improvement

For the first time, the Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) regional centre had its annual meeting, with education representatives from 8 member countries participating.

The Latin American and Caribbean KIX regional hub was created to promote the exchange of knowledge, innovations and experiences that contribute to the improvement of education in the region. Likewise, a joint work agenda was established to effectively solve the critical problems identified in these countries, with emphasis on teacher training, inclusion and the new environments generated by COVID-19.

The Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is a joint initiative of the Global Partnership for Education – GPE – and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), which brings together the most diverse stakeholders in education. The regional network is led by SUMMA (Educational Research and Innovation Laboratory for Latin America and the Caribbean), and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), whose objective is to contribute to the strengthening of the education systems of its partner countries: Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

In his welcoming speech, the director of SUMMA, Dr. Javier González, greeted KIX LAC partners, and highlighted “the difficult year we had for humanity and for our Latin American countries.” “One of the greatest lessons we had is the importance of collectivism versus individualism,” he said, adding “it allowed us to understand that each person, community or country is not alone in the world, but is part of a greater global community sharing one planet.”

“This crisis tells us that our problems also belong to others, and solutions may be found in other places and can be collective solutions,” he stated.

González underlined the need of a global governance, decision-making collective systems which allow to channel energies, ideas, and the detection of problems and solutions. “In a world where multilateral mechanisms have been weakened, these are more important than ever,” he warned.

“This initiative seeks to establish a joint agenda, to systematize and mobilize evidence and to exchange it and resignify it for our own communities,” he concluded.

Sonia Rees, Information Management Officer, of the Communications Unit of the OECS, welcomed attendants to the session and brought greetings on behalf of OECS Commission.  “We feel privileged to be part of this initiative and echo strongly Javier’s message. I also want to highlight that Didacus Jules is passionate for education and very excited to be part of this initiative,” she said.

She further invited all participants “to own the space and make it their own, get involved. We know it can make a difference in terms of this pandemic time we are experiencing.”

“Our plans for the year also involve participants to get interactive to exchange knowledge, build synergies. We want to create a very strong community, and many activities are planned for this and we want you to be part of it,” she concluded.

Tricia Wind, Program Leader at the GPE KIX at International Development Research Centre (IDRC) said she anticipated a great day. “Kix is a response to requests for a mechanism for people to share their experiences, learn from each other and access relevant resources”, she commented and underlined the importance of KIX which allows people to be linked together across borders, creating agendas for knowledge mobilization.

“We trust that during today’s meeting KIX is addressing your objectives. KIX LAC is one of four hubs, and each of them have similar objectives,” she added.

“We are very excited in the Global Partnership for Education to see how this KIX LAC hub has made progress despite the tough moments and this meeting is a manifestation of the hub’s ability to correctly planning and foresee future actions,” Javier Luque, Country Lead for the Global Partnership for Education, said.

For his part, the project director, Raúl Chacón, emphasized that “recognizing the enormous educational challenges in the region, we want to contribute from the strengths of the countries, from their experiences and learning, as well as from the trajectory that each representative brings and contributes to the KIX LAC Hub”.

The meeting also included the formal presentation of the Advisory Board, which will contribute its invaluable experience in the field of education worldwide to help implement the different projects in the countries generated through KIX LAC. The Advisory Council is formed by Josette Altmann, Secretary General of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences FLACSO; Michael Fullan, director of Global Leadership, New Pedagogies for Deep Learning; Javier Gonzalez, director of SUMMA; Didacus Jules, director of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; Sylvia Schmelkes, Academic Vice Chancellor of the Universidad Iberoamericana de México; Emiliana Vegas, co-director of the Center for Universal Education of Brookings Institution; and Joel Warrican, director of the School of Education at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.