SVG Louisiana partnership
May 22, 2009
SVG Louisiana partnership

St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Ambassador and University of New Orleans discuss possible Early Childhood Education partnership.

La Celia A. Prince, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Ambassador to the United States recently met with University of New Orleans (UNO) Chancellor Timothy Ryan and officials of UNO’s College of Education and Human Development to discuss development of a possible partnership with St. Vincent and the Grenadines to support Early Childhood Education.{{more}}

On May 1, 2009, after meeting the Chancellor and the Dean of the College of Education, Ambassador Prince also visited Medard Nelson-UNO Charter School, where she observed a pre-kindergarten classroom. The charter school is supported by the University of New Orleans and is one of the more successful models of Early Childhood Education, thanks to the financial and human resources support it receives from the University. “This site visit has allowed me to see elements of early childhood education that we may incorporate into our own system in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and which I can share with my policy-makers back at home for their further consideration and possible implementation into their own policies,” said Ambassador Prince, following her visit with Nelson’s pre-kindergarten class. Ambassador Prince observed that this potential partnership with the University of New Orleans can greatly assist in St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ thrust towards implementation of universal access to early childhood education, as well as enhance the country’s capacity-building needs.

This possible collaborative partnership in Early Childhood Education is the result of dialogue between Dean James Meza, Jr. of the University of New Orleans and Ambassador Prince, which follows a series of ongoing engagements arising from the World Cultural Economic Forum hosted in New Orleans in October 2008 by the Office of Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu.

The University of New Orleans (UNO) is an urban research university of the State of Louisiana which provides essential support for the educational, economic and social well-being of the culturally-rich and diverse New Orleans metropolitan area. It opened its doors in 1950 as part of the Louisiana State University system ‘to bring public-supported higher education to Louisiana’s largest urban community’. Today, UNO offers 43 undergraduate degree programmes and 11 doctoral programmes.

The proposed educational collaborative espouses mutual goals of providing high quality education, promoting healthy families and communities, and protecting the best interests of children. This is one of several initiatives undertaken by Ambassador Prince, who is looking to broaden the scope of opportunities for St. Vincent and the Grenadines beyond the traditional diplomatic grounds of Washington and New York. “There are more than 150 countries represented by Embassies and Consulates in Washington and New York, all vying for the attention of possible partners to work with their countries and in all probability, competing for the same resources. There is great potential to find partners further afield, who themselves are looking for countries to work with,” said Ambassador Prince.

Among some of the other initiatives which Ambassador Prince is working on with the State of Louisiana are a partnership for the loan of Vincentian graduate nurses to the State of Louisiana where a severe dearth exists since Hurriance Katrina; as well as pursuing a Vincy Mas/ New Orleans Mardi Gras carnival exchange between SVG and the State of Louisiana.