Early Childhood Teachers Told to get Certified


In carrying out its mandate of developing the early childhood sector, the Early Childhood Commission will be stipulating that all teachers in the sector possess at least Level 1 certification from the National Council on Technical Vocational and Education Training (NCTVET) in order to remain in the system.
Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Maureen Samms-Vaughan, who made the announcement at the inaugural meeting of the Jamaica Early Childhood Association (JECA) on January 25 at the Medallion Hall Hotel, said the ECC was encouraging teachers to make use of the training opportunities available to them.
“We are not necessarily talking about putting people out of the system, we are encouraging persons to get on board with what is necessary to give these children the opportunity that they must have in order to move this country forward”, she explained.
In emphasizing the importance of adequate training, the Chairman noted that, “it is important that anyone who will be shaping the minds of children know what they are doing, as they are impacting on someone for life. The first thing is to realize the importance of the job that early childhood practitioners do.”
“What we are requiring is that anyone who is teaching in an early childhood institution, has a minimum training of the NCTVET Level 1, which is basic child development. You must know something about the development of a child if you are going to be shaping children’s’ lives. That is the absolute minimum requirement”, she pointed out.
Dr. Samms-Vaughan noted that approximately 5,000 persons have already completed the programme, which was ongoing.
“We are looking at a large number of persons who have already taken the opportunity to get that basic training. Also, remember that we are talking about a time frame in which to acquire this training”, she noted.
Meanwhile, President of JECA and ECC Board Member, Keith Brown endorsed the Commission’s position on the matter of training, noting that it was the responsibility of the practitioners to capitalize on the opportunities available to them.
“The fact is that there really should be nobody in the system that has not acquired Level 1 and a tremendous amount of opportunities have been created for them to avail themselves”, he pointed out.
“So, with the systems in place for them to be trained, if they have not availed themselves of the opportunities, then they can’t blame anyone. They ought to make use of the opportunities. The only thing they have to fear is themselves”, he added.
The ECC will begin the process of effecting dramatic changes in the early childhood sector, as soon as Governor General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Howard Cooke, gives his assent to the Early Childhood Act, which was passed in the Houses of Parliament recently.

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