Social Security education to be introduced in schools

Deputy Director of Education Patricia George-Benfield, accepts an electronic device -- which will be used to access the online Educating Social Security programme -- from Reginald Thomas, director of CIESS, (Photo by Theresa Goodwin)

Students at the primary school level will be taught about the operations of the Antigua and Barbuda Social Security Board (ABSSB) and its offerings, through an online educational platform which was launched on Tuesday.

The “Educating in Social Security” programme is designed to teach students and adults about the historical importance, basic concepts and legal instruments of social security linked to the actual system in the country.

The programme is as a result of a partnership between the ABSSB, in collaboration with the Inter-American Centre for Social Security Studies or CIESS and the Ministry of Education.

Reginald Thomas, director of CIESS, who played a key role in the development of the platform, explained that the user-friendly programme was designed with students in mind.

“We wanted to ensure that the teachers and others who will be interacting with the platform have the necessary skills to allow for them to do the monitoring, but the students will take the lead. It is student-oriented progress and as the students’ progress we know that learning will be enhanced,” Thomas said.

He stated further that the platform has some key components: interactive learning, tool based – consisting of videos and audios, information card and bibliography.

“Our aim is to provide a medium for the Antigua and Barbuda Social Security to address the issues of awareness of social security of its population. We heard of the declining population as it relates to schools, so we want to enhance the conversation across all of the entities that are stakeholders of social security,” Thomas said.

David Mathias, director of the ABSSB, said that the programme will be incorporated in schools following a series of training sessions during the summer period.

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