A total of 400 persons in St. Catherine graduated from the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning’s (JFLL) foundation programme, on June 17 having completed basic literacy and numeracy courses.
At the Achievers’ Function, held at the Phillippo Baptist Church, Spanish Town, St. Catherine, the graduates heaped praise on the programme, explaining that it had given them a chance to become more productive citizens.
“There were many ups and downs, financially and otherwise, but we weathered the storm. We can all say we have made it. Our lives are truly changed,” valedictorian, Carren Washington, said.
“We did not only learn to read, write and do mathematics, but we also learned how to manage our lives,” she said.
Motivational speaker at the function, Senator Hyacinth Bennett, noted that Jamaica’s progress is linked, inextricably, to the progress made in education. She told the graduates that “it was just the beginning.”
“Cultivate the right attitude and then you go to the next step, and the next step, and the next step in your education,” she explained.
His Worship the Mayor of Spanish Town, Councillor Dr. Andrew Wheatley, commended the graduates for taking what he described as a “bold step” in enrolling in the literacy programme.
Director of Technical Services, the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), Sandra Prince (left), presents Alicia Mendez with her certificate for completing the JFLL’s foundation programme, during an Achievers’ function, held at the Phillippo Baptist Church, in Spanish Town, St Catherine, on June 17. Ms. Prince was one of 400 persons, who completed the programme in the parish.
“It speaks to the ability that you possess to achieve whatever you want to achieve,” he said. He exhorted them to branch out and make their instructors proud that they were associated with the programme.
Parish Manager for the St. Catherine JFLL, Claudette Johnson-Davis, said she was disappointed that there were not more graduates. She said it was a challenge to get participants to complete their courses.
She added that, in many cases, persons dropped out because of work-related reasons. However, she urged them to try to find ways to accommodate the classes.
“Our classes are done by shifts. If you do pick up a job, yes we know you need the money, but please join the evening class. When your shift is rotated, join the morning class. We don’t want to lose you,” she declared.
The JFLL, formerly Jamaican Movement for the Advancement of Literacy (JAMAL), was founded in 1973 as a Government-assisted initiative aimed at addressing illiteracy in Jamaica.
Currently JFLL offers a foundation programme; pre-vocational programme; High School Equivalency Programme (HISEP); and add-ons, such as life skills and computer training.
Executive Director, Edward Shakes, is encouraging Jamaicans to make use of all the educational opportunities offered by the centre, as well as the wider society.
“We can survive and progress, only if we are committed to constantly equipping ourselves with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude that is demanded. All of us, therefore, must be committed to the process of lifelong learning,” he stated.