Youth workers across the Commonwealth are to get greater access to certified courses following an agreement between The Commonwealth Secretariat, the University of the West Indies and the Commonwealth of Learning.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Wednesday at the 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers taking place in The Bahamas. It paves the way for a Diploma and Bachelor of Youth Development Work, developed by the University of the West Indies and the Commonwealth Secretariat, to be made available to tertiary institutions across the Commonwealth.
With the support of the Commonwealth of Learning, the Diploma and Degree will be turned into an open education resource that can be used to establish the programmes in other institutions.
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Deodat Maharaj said that the Commonwealth had been a pioneer in the professionalisation of youth work. The new partnership will enable thousands more people who work with young people to gain professional qualifications, particularly those in small and developing countries.
Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning, said the partnership draws on the complementary strengths of all three organisations.
Prof Clement Sankat, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of West Indies, St Augustine, noted the importance of equipping the vital youth professional workforce with proper qualifications and skills.
Katherine Ellis, Director of Youth at the Commonwealth said: “This latest step in the evolution of the Commonwealth’s promotion of youth work education is very exciting. It will allow countries with less institutional capacity to create youth work degree programmes, and it will build a consortium of universities across the Commonwealth that will all contribute to keeping the course materials current and rich. It will become an amazing collection of expertise and case studies on youth development from developing countries.”
Photo: Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Deodat Maharaj, Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning and Professor Clement Sankat, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of West Indies, St Augustine.