03.03.2004 -

Caribbean Association for Distance and Open Learning Established

The first meeting of the Caribbean Association for Distance and Open Learning (CARADOL) that was created with the financial support from UNESCO was held yesterday at the Distance Education Centre of the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.

CARADOL is the realization of recommendations made independently by both the Caribbean Association of Chief Education Officers and participants at a September 1999 regional conference held in Guyana entitled Promoting Quality, Pragmatism and Partnership in Distance Education Delivery, and further developed in the July 2000 conference on Distance Education in Small States held in Jamaica. It was felt that the time had come to establish a body that would promote distance education in the Caribbean and provide a platform through which stakeholders could continue to share experiences and have access to opportunities for continuing professional development in this field.


The formation of CARADOL received financial and organizational support from the UWI-UNESCO Caribbean Universities Project for Integrated Distance Education (CUPIDE), funded through the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for Capacity-building of Human Resources. The project is aimed at improving access to the services of five universities in the Dutch, French and English-speaking Caribbean through increased use of information and communication technologies.


The participating institutions are The University of the West Indies (UWI), University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech), Aton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS), University of Guyana (UG), and the University Quisqueya (UniQ), located in Haiti. The CUPIDE Project Advisory Committee is chaired by Morella Joseph of CARICOM. On-going support has also been received from the Distance Learning Secretariat (DLS) of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education in Trinidad and Tobago.


The vision of CARADOL is "to develop a learning society in the Caribbean through equity and access to quality education" and "to be an advocate for, and facilitator of the use of Open and Distance Learning as a means of transforming education in the Caribbean with particular reference to the concept of Lifelong Learning, and to serve as forum/platform for stakeholders to share experiences and have access to opportunities for continuing professionalism in Open and Distance Learning.

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