JIS News

The Ministry of Education has launched a Child-Friendly School (CFS) sensitisation programme, through which it intends to inform educators about the CFS model, which is aimed at promoting quality education in schools.
The programme is a collaborative effort with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which has developed the CFS manual, copies of which were distributed to the education stakeholders at the launch held last week at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James.
Margaret Brissett-Bolt of the Education Transformation Team, in her remarks, said that the CFS programme strives for “quality education in quality content; quality teaching and learning; and a quality learning environment to achieve quality outcomes.”
She stressed that children are at the centre of the initiative and “they are their own rights bearers, with the Government and other stakeholders in the education process as the duty bearers.”
UNICEF representative for Jamaica, Robert Fuderich, in his address, explained that the manual is a practical tool for developing national capacities to design and implement CFS.
“It clarifies what is meant by child-friendly, and to equip local officials and education practitioners with practical guidance on how to design, construct, maintain, operate and manage a child-friendly school in the various conditions and countries that we work,” he stated.
“It provides a menu of good practices from around the world, tools for cost benefit analysis, as well as a guide for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of CFS,” he added.
He stated that the manual is part of a wider package, which includes a collection of field case studies and an e-learning programme for capacity building in the use of the CFS model.
The first sensitisation workshop will be held in Kingston later this month that will introduce the CFS model to key stakeholders and resource persons in the education sector.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, in the meantime, praised UNICEF for its support towards the development of the country’s education sector.
He stated that the Ministry will be moving steadfastly to ensure that all future school construction will be done with a child-friendly focus.
The CFS model encourages and supports children’s growing capacities as learners by providing a school culture, teaching behaviours and curriculum content that are focussed on learning and the learner. The intent is to create an environment in which children are motivated and are able to learn.

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