French Ambassador discusses educational opportunities for teachers & students

French Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Barbados (OECS), His Excellency Serge Lavroff and Mr. Stephane Dovert, Regional Counselor for Co-operation of the French Republic paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Education, the Honourable Anthony Garcia on Wednesday 26th September, 2018 to discuss educational opportunities for teachers and students in French territories through its Passport to French Higher Education programme.

The programme offers students in the Eastern Caribbean, of which Trinidad and Tobago are a part, access to general and technical/vocational higher education in France and French territories in the Caribbean. In addition, it provides support for the acquisition of the Diploma in French Language Studies or the DELF—a certification of French-language abilities for non-native speakers—a requirement for access to institutions of learning and employment. Internships and traineeships for both English-speaking and French-speaking students are another aspect of the French Higher Education programme.

Minister Garcia expressed appreciation and deep interest in the collaboration that will make scholarly opportunities available to Trinbagonian students in French-speaking countries. He reflected on the long-standing and industrious relationship the Ministry has enjoyed with the French Embassy and welcomed this new partnership. The Chief Education Officer, Mr. Harrilal Seecharan will lead the dialogue between the Ministry of Education and its Curriculum Division, the French Embassy and Alliance Française Trinidad and Tobago.

French-language teachers will also benefit under this programme. Through the Alliance Française, teachers will acquire skills to help them integrate the DELF into their pedagogical and linguistic programmes. A number of Education Ministries in OECS member states have already initiated a pilot phase of the DELF into its French-language curriculum.

The programme aims to deepen synergies between OECS member states and French nations for the increasing benefit of Caribbean students as well as its own English-language students, who seek to improve their language skills and career opportunities.

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