Use of Public Broadcasting in the Caribbean for Open/Distance Learning: Feasibility Study Report



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Commonwealth of Learning


This study sought to determine the feasibility of using broadcast media for open/distance education and training to promote socio-economic development in the Caribbean region. It involved Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia. Data were gathered from 54 interviews with post-secondary institutions, broadcaster, government ministries, and regional development agencies across the region; a document/literature review, and an analysis of distance learning enrolment statistics. The findings show that currently a few institutions in the region offer courses by distance education. The large provider is The University of the West Indies (UWI), which has more than tripled its enrollment in distance education courses in the past 10 years. The study revealed a consensus across the region for the need to expand distance education, and identified both radio and television as possible components of this expansion. There was little consensus regarding the type of content that should be offered by educational broadcasting. A wide range of programming was recommended, including both formal education courses and programmes of interest to the general public. The study identified three educational broadcasting models for consideration. Each model focuses on educational television supported by radio programming and Internet services, but each differs in the extent to which these components are implemented. The differentiating factors are the capacity requirements, complexity and cost of the three models.


Table of Contents


Distance education