JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The island’s early childhood instructors are to benefit from a $30 million training programme, aimed at improving their skills and competencies.
  • The programme, which is an initiative of United Way of Jamaica, will enable the instructors to earn an Associate Degree in early Childhood Education through an online platform.
  • Speaking at the launch held on Tuesday, April 21, at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites in New Kingston, Chairman of the Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE), Dr. Rose Davies, welcomed the move by United Way.

The island’s early childhood instructors are to benefit from a $30 million training programme, aimed at improving their skills and competencies.

The programme, which is an initiative of United Way of Jamaica, will enable the instructors to earn an Associate Degree in early Childhood Education through an online platform.

Speaking at the launch held on Tuesday, April 21, at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites in New Kingston, Chairman of the Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE), Dr. Rose Davies, welcomed the move by United Way.

She said the initiative is in keeping with the Government’s mandate to increase the number of trained early childhood educators.

Mrs. Davies noted that while many basic school teachers have vocational and other training, they are unable to access higher levels of qualification due to the absence of an intermediate level qualification.

As such, she said, with an associate degree, more teachers will be able to matriculate to the bachelor’s degree level.

“Apart from giving them that formal training, it would also help them to matriculate in some way to the four-year bachelor (programme) if they meet all the other requirements,” she pointed out.

The online training was developed by the JBTE, and according to Mrs. Davies, the programme “basically covers what would be done in the first two years of the bachelor’s (degree).”

Interested institutions are invited to offer the programme as part of their online curriculum.

The initial stage of the online programme is being funded by Jamalco, which handed over $3.5 million to United Way at yesterday’s launch.

A face-to-face pilot of the programme, which started in September 2014, is now  in five institutions – Shortwood, St. Joseph’s and Church teachers’ colleges; Excelsior Community College; and the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE).

Chief Executive Officer at the United Way of Jamaica, Winsome Wilkins, informed that the training programme is in celebration of the organisation’s 30th anniversary this year.

She praised the donors and volunteers, who have contributed to the work of the organisation over the three decades.

She informed that United Way has mobilised in excess of $1.6 billion in the areas of community development, agriculture, education, health, skills training and disaster relief and restoration.

Executive Vice President, United Way Worldwide, José Ferrão, who attended the event, lauded the Jamaican organisation for its contribution to the country’s development.

United Way of Jamaica brings donors, volunteers and other stakeholders together to address pressing needs in the society.