Jamaicas Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, is scheduled
to deliver the feature address at the fourth Pan Commonwealth
Forum on Open Learning (PCF4).
The forum, which will bring together stakeholders from government
and educational institutions throughout the world, is carded
to be held at the Sunset Jamaica Grande hotel from October
30 to November 2.
The event, which is being organised by the Commonwealth of
Learning (COL) in association with a Caribbean consortium,
led by the UWI Distance Education Centre, was launched during
a video conference facilitated by UWIs Distance Learning
Centre in Trinidad.
Speaking via telephone, Sir John Daniel, ceo and president
of (COL) said the existing methods being used for distance
learning are not up to the challenge. He said there is a greater
demand for distance education from persons around the globe.
The Vancouver-based COL began full operations in 1989. It
is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth
Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing
of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and
Stewart Marshall, co-chair PCF4 and director UWIDEC, said
one of the objectives of the forum is to get the message to
colleges who do not share the vision of distance learning.
share best practice on how people can learn where ever they
are and when ever they want, he said.
persuade people that this is the way forward.
Jamaicas assistant chief education officer, Philbert
Dhyll, said his country was pleased to host the event which
will be held in the Caribbean for the first time.
is especially so knowing that distance education is the focus
of the conference, he said.
His message to the participants was: We are prepared
to learn from you and are ready to show you what we are doing
here in Jamaica.
Through discussion and panel presentations, participants will
share ideas and help to set the agenda for using open and
distance learning to advance international development through
widening educational access, bridging the digital divide and
applying advances in connecting technology to teaching and
learning for development of communities and nations at large,
but especially in the less developed countries of the commonwealth.
Approximately 486 persons from 58 countries have already registered
for the forum, with 100 of them coming from the Caribbean.