BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - A seven-year public education campaign undertaken by the CARICOM Secretariat has brought mixed signals on the awareness of the people of the Federation about the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
This was highlighted today (Feb. 9) during a review discussion involving several persons from various sectors of the society, as part of a broader review being undertaken by CARICOM in each member state to gain feedback on its education campaign, undertaken over the last seven years.
Pearl Williams, who facilitated the St. Kitts leg of the discussion, gained the feedback from representatives of the public and private sectors.
During the discussion, the need for more education and communication was echoed to ensure that “the ordinary man and youths” better understand the benefits of the skills certificate and the free movement of people, goods and services.
“The purpose of this session was to have a focus group discussion on the CSME in the Caribbean region. Its purpose was really on the education programme that CARICOM has been running a public education programme since 2010.
“Before doing anything further, I think this is the time to stop then assess what has been done previously, and what was the effectiveness of the public education programme that has been carried out,” Williams said.
In explaining the review process, Williams noted that it takes on two forms: the first being a questionnaire which can be completed either online or through hard copies that are being distributed via enumerators.
Secondly, there are focus groups which would discuss and give their feedback on how the first phase of the educational campaign transpired.
“The focus group is meant to discuss and hear person's views on different aspects in terms of the promotions that have been taking place within the CARICOM countries, as well as person's views on the whole CSME.”
She pointed out that the second phase of the education campaign is being rolled out simultaneously with the review process.