PRAIA, 21 December 2016 – The Entrepreneurship Curriculum Programme (2014-2016) implemented in Cabo Verde by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and funded by the Government of Portugal, has produced results far above expectations, according to a recent assessment workshop. The meeting, convened under the motto, ‘Investing in the New Generation Society’, and attended by representatives of the Ministry of Education, the private sector and civil society, focused on the pilot programme’s achievement and discussed priority areas for future actions to contribute to its sustainability.
The programme, which develops skills and an entrepreneurial cultures and enhances young people’s technical and learning capability, was initially piloted in 12 schools in Cabo Verde. Based on the positive results of this pilot programme, the Ministry of Education decided to expand it nationwide during the academic year 2016-2017 and it now covers 43 schools across the country. The widespread expansion of entrepreneurship classes in a record time is sowing seeds of business creation in the minds of the young generation, and augurs well for the development of the archipelago.
During the workshop, Anabela Dinis, Researcher at the University of Beira Interior, highlighted the benefits of programme and noted that “it is a unique opportunity to create synergies in promoting an entrepreneurial culture in Cabo Verde.” She has conducted an impact study showing that, in only two years, participating students’ attitudes towards entrepreneurship have positively changed. She has also observed that teachers inspirational role’s and pedagogical skills have become much greater.
António Moreira Semedo, from Caixa Económica de Cabo Verde, underlined the crucial role played by entrepreneurship education in helping to strengthen the private sector. The leading local bank has been actively engaged in the programme by giving lectures, providing preferential savings accounts, and supporting graduates in the development and funding of their business plans.
The workshop highlighted the use of innovative technology in education. As António Tavares de Jesus, President of the University Institute of Education (IUE), said, the use of blended learning or B-Learning in teacher training has been a key factor in improving quality at this educational level, as well as facilitating the expansion of entrepreneurship education. (Blended learning is an education programme that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods requiring the physical presence of both teacher and student.), Thanks to a partnership established with the IUE, a total of 154 entrepreneurship teachers were trained in the 2016/2017 academic year.
“The project is already a reference for UNIDO, as it obtained much higher results than initially expected.” said Victor Djemba, UNIDO’s Representative to Cabo Verde. He added that “this programme is making a sustainable and lasting change by investing in youth and new generations. UNIDO will continue to support the Cabo Verde Government’s efforts to promote entrepreneurship.”
Portugal’s ambassador to Cabo Verde, Helena Paiva, concluded her intervention by saying that the programme is an investment in the future and a step forward in the creation of an entrepreneurial society in Cabo Verde.
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