Canadian Students In Jamaica For Work Experience


A group of nine Early Childhood Education (ECE) students from a Canadian college are doing field placement work at several basic schools in Western Jamaica.
The group will stay in Jamaica for one month during which time the student teachers will participate in teaching practice sessions at West End Basic, White Hall Preparatory and Negril Basic schools in Westmoreland.
Led by Lynn Wilson and Zeenat Janmohamed, both ECE professors at George Brown College in Toronto, this is the third year that a group of trainee teachers have visited Jamaica for work experience. Professor Wilson will also travel to Kingston to participate in meetings with officials from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture.
The group’s visit is being facilitated by Women for PACE (Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education), which organized an information session at the offices of the Jamaican Consulate prior to the group leaving Canada. Immediate Past President, Delrine Jones, said the session was needed to give the Canadians an idea of what to expect in Jamaica.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Vivia Betton gave highlights of the relationship between Jamaica and Canada, noting that trading between the two countries started some 400 years ago. She wished the group a fulfilling and gainful mission in Jamaica.
Regional Manager for the Jamaica Tourist Board in Canada, Pat Samuels, noted that Canadians played a very important role in Jamaica’s tourism sector. Approximately 100,000 Canadians visited the island last year, she said, which contributed to 2003 being the best year in tourism for Jamaica so far.
She told the student teachers their experience in Jamaica would be so positive that they would come back and recommend the country to their friends and family. The group also watched a video called, “This is Jamaica” courtesy of the Jamaica Information Service, which gave a comprehensive overview of the island, touching on the country’s history, government, economy, people, culture, heroes and the contributions of Jamaicans.
Women for PACE (Canada) is a 15-year-old organization which was formed to “support community efforts to provide a learning environment for young children.” Members have adopted approximately 100 basic schools in Jamaica and have donated educational toys, books and learning materials to the schools. The organization also provides bursaries in Canada and Jamaica to assist ECE student teachers.
In 2003, Women for PACE (Canada) donated a mobile computer laboratory to be used by basic school students. Called “Tech de Bus,” it is a retrofitted school bus with five computers that visits basic schools in the parish of St. Ann.

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