According to the Education Sector Plan (2014-2019), technology is defined as “Industrial Technology,” which is concerned with the various branches of Technology that relate to current everyday life, such as: Communications Technology, Construction Technology, Manufacturing Technology, and Transportation Technology, among others. In parallel, the term Communications Technology focuses on computers, cell phones, and other communication devices, how they are used, and how they work.
The 2005 Education Act defines distance education as “an educational process in which a significant proportion of the teaching is conducted through one or more media by person removed in space or time from the learners”.
Constitution and laws: The 2005 Education Act mentions broadly within the specific goals and objectives of education “to develop of basic knowledge and skills in all personas (iii) and understanding of the role of science and technology in society and related skills.”
While not directly related to the education sector, regulations on the use of technology and telecommunications have been drafted, including the 2001 Telecommunications Act (as amended in 2009), the 2020 Consumer Protection Act, the 2015 Electronic Transaction Act and the 2015 Electronic Filing Act.
Regional policies, plans and strategies: At the regional level, regional requirements mandate the government to deliver technology-driven education. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a member of the CARICOM Community. As a member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is committed to the CARICOM-agreed-upon purpose of cultivating the "Ideal Caribbean Person." The Ideal Caribbean Person should "show various literacies, autonomous and critical thinking, challenge old ideas and practices, and use this knowledge to the inventive use of science and technology to solve problems." CARICOM has developed a Regional Digital Development Strategy (RDDS) and CARICOM Human Resource Development Strategy (2030), which includes as one of its areas of emphasis “ICT in education.” Moreover, at the regional level initiatives such as CARICOM Girls in ICT and CARICOM Digital Skills have been recently launched.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is also a member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which also plays a pivotal role in its strategic priorities for the sector. As an OECS member, the country's Ministry of Education is committed to achieving the objectives specified in the OECS Education Sector Strategy 2012-2026. One of its seven agreed-upon areas of priority is #3, "Improve the quality of Teaching and Learning," which stipulates, "Achievement levels significantly improved, all learners acquire required levels of literacy, numeracy, and technological skills, and are equipped to use relevant competencies at school, college, home, and in future employment.”’ #4 "Improve Curriculum and Assessment Strategies" – "All learners can exhibit the essential knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competencies needed to be effective Caribbean citizens in the 21st century, and can confidently participate and advance at school, in their communities, and at work." -
National policies, plans and strategies: At the national level, the National Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2015 enhances the use of ICT in all sectors, with a particular emphasis on education, health, agriculture, and tourism. The National Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2015 proposes to complement the expansion of broadband access with increased access to computers at telecentres, schools, and community facilities, as well as the implementation of strategies to increase the number of personal computers or laptops for students. In addition, the education project, with the objective of enhancing management and administration, will utilize ICT to enhance the quality of basic education. The Education Sector Plan (2014-2019) affirmed its commitment to the integration of technology in teaching and learning and advocated that technology should be an important component of the educational development of all students, beginning with the earliest elementary school years. In addition, it states as a goal to "maximize the potential of the recently built ICT infrastructure, the One-Netbook per Student project, and other ICT-related initiatives, particularly with regard to education, student learning, and school administration and management." The National and Economic and Social Development Plan (2013-2025) aim to enhance the quality of education through the use of Information and Communication Technologies.
The Ministry of Education developed a National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Framework in 2006, although it has not been formally ratified. Graduates of the National Curriculum are expected to be "computer literate, knowledgeable in science and technology, and able to correctly integrate research and evidence-based skills in their daily lives." In addition, the National Curriculum and Assessment Framework (NCAF) includes the National Goals "Be literate in all areas, including visual and technical" and "Be competent in science and technology and their application."
Digital competency frameworks: No formal digital competency framework for students or teachers was found in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: At the regional level, the Caribbean has convened discussions to enhance and sustain technology-related programs aimed at enhancing the utilization of ICT in education.
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: The 2019 School Safety Policy includes the creation of design, construction, operation, and maintenance standards for school buildings and other educational infrastructure as one of its key activities.
Computers and devices: In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the One Laptop Per Child program (OLPC) was introduced in 2011 and is still ongoing. In the first phase of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), computers were provided to students in grades 2 through 6. In Phase 2, OLPC delivered Form 1–5 students' computers. In both phases, teachers received laptops. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government delivered tablets to elementary and secondary school students and instructors. (GDP, 2021)
The National Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2015 calls for the construction of the necessary ICT infrastructure, including computer laboratories and software, among other things.
Internet connectivity: The 2001 Telecommunications Act ( as modified in 2009) created the Universal Service Fund (USF) to reward any telecommunications operator mandated to offer or promote Universal Service, including school access to telecommunications services and the Internet. Initiated in 2011 as part of the Universal Services Fund (USF), the Schools Project intends to provide wireless and external Internet access points to schools across St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The National Regulatory Telecommunications Commission (NRTC) is responsible for managing the Universal Service Fund (USF). The National Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2015 incorporated Internet connectivity and ICT infrastructure in education programs.
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
The 2005 Education Act acknowledges distance education as a form of formal education. It establishes that the Minister may provide for distance learning programmes at the pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. The National Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2015 included as an adjunct to providing training in computer skills, the expansion at school and learning institutions on the use of the network of Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) Community Centres and Libraries. The National Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2015 proposed for the Modern National Library to be an example of ICT in usage and virtual libraries.
In response to COVID-19, the government developed various strategies to ensure that content and resources reached as many students as possible and enabled distance learning. The MOE’s response to the pandemic was guided by the provision in the National School Safety Policy. The Ministry of Education utilized various forms of media. Lessons were streamed live via television and digital media such as Facebook. The svgcdu.org website also provides a wide range of materials and resources for students across the various school levels. Students without Internet access were provided with workbooks and other study tools.
According to the Education Sector Plan (2014-2019), the curricula of basic education include the Core Subject of “Technology” in the Foundation areas “ICT” and in the coss-curricular themes “ICT usage and issues”. The 2012 ICT Professional Development Implementation Plan for Educators in St. Vincent and the Grenadines states that the MoE will continue to explore the development of Student Support Technician Clubs (SSTCs) at schools to provide technical support. This process can be guided by a Computer Lab Sustainability Took Kit developed by AED, Cisco, and Qualcomm. The process will aim to develop technical and leadership skills in selected students to support technology teachers in maintaining computer troubleshooting problems and support classroom teachers in integrating ICT for teaching and learning. The National and Economic and Social Development Plan (2013-2025) included among its strategic interventions “Establishing a well-managed, effective, and efficient education system that focuses on quality and relevance”. Some associated strategic interventions include encouraging greater participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; and enhancing the quality of education using Information and Communication Technologies.
The Education Sector Plan (2014-2019) proposed to train teachers and principals in integrating ICT into the teaching and learning process. The 2012 ICT Professional Development Implementation Plan for Educators in St. Vincent and the Grenadines aims to construct clear learning pathways for SVG teachers to move progressively from technology literacy to knowledge deepening through pre-service teacher training and continuing professional development. It focuses on integrating the UNESCO ICT Competency Standards for Teachers (CST) into the curriculum design of all courses, as this set of Standards effectively identifies the teacher as central in developing student ICT capabilities. The modalities of delivery of teacher training include face-to-face training; online training; mentoring; action research; communities of practice; expos and showcasing; schools of ICT excellence; information and guides; distance training; etc.
2.4.1. Data privacy
The 2003 Privacy Act establishes a framework for the protection and promotion of individuals' data protection and privacy; however, it does not regulate the use of children's data. There is no specific legislation regarding the use of children's data or data in educational institutions. In 2022, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched a consultation process to harmonize data protection legislation in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
The 2016 Cybercrime Bill defines as an offence the use of electronic communication to harass, including cyberbullying and to disseminate information or photos that harm the reputation of another person or are susceptible to public ridicule. According to the National Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2015, a program of Child Online Protection would be promoted.
The 2005 Education Act establishes that the Minister of Education has overall responsibility for ensuring that the education system functions efficiently. However, several ministries collaborate and coordinate the incorporation of technology into the educational system.
At the school level, according to the 2012 ICT Professional Development Implementation Plan for Educators in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, ‘Technology coordinator’ refers to the individual staff member at a school who is assigned overall responsibility for developing and overseeing/driving the implementation of a school’s ICT Integration Plan. Appointments of Technology Coordinators have already been made at all schools in SVG and a first round of professional development has been implemented.
No information was found on the regulations regarding the use of mobile devices in schools in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.