UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) in Trinidad and Tobago, held two landmark events in October 2017:

  • its national meeting for its member and prospective schools in Trinidad and Tobago, on October 3rd 2017 at the Radisson Hotel, Port of Spain and;
  • a pilot teacher training workshop on the Teaching Respect for All Implementation Guide, on October 4th and 5th at the School of Education, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus.

The National Meeting saw the participation of seventy participants from schools in Trinidad and Tobago and other stakeholders, who came together to discuss the role that the ASPnet can play in creating a better education system in T&T, as well as the ways in which the ASPnet can support teachers and students in becoming instruments of peace and development in the society. The meeting was co-facilitated by Mr. Omar Mohammed, National Coordinator of the UNESCO ASPnet in T&T and Ms. Sabine Detzel, a senior member of UNESCO's Education Division and International ASPnet Coordinator, based at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

Subsequent to the national meeting, Ms. Detzel met with the Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education and Mr. Harrilal Seecharan, Chief Education Officer of the Ministry of Education, who both maintained the commitment of the Ministry of Education to supporting the work of the ASPnet.

The pilot teacher training workshop focused on applying the tools, topics, and strategies found in the Teaching Respect for All Implementation Guide. The Implementation Guide includes teaching materials and key principles that address active learning, teaching tolerance and respect and used a participatory approach allowing educators to engage in learning activities designed to use the materials provided in the  Implementation Guide across a range of settings, subjects and students. It is envisioned that the ASPnet will design and implement a larger training programme for teachers and schools using the guide in 2018. This training and the design of the subsequent training programme was facilitated by Dr. Helen Bond, Director of Howard University's Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Assessment (CETLA), and co-author of the UNESCO Implementation guide.

With this new phase of growth, and through its place in a global network of innovation and excellence, the UNESCO ASPnet in Trinidad and Tobago hopes to catalyse a new movement in education in Trinidad and Tobago that builds on the passion of our people to create the country for which we all hope.