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  • The Government is increasing the subsidy provided to early childhood teachers by 15 per cent.
  • Minister of Education, the Hon. Rev Ronald Thwaites, said the increase is part of measures aimed at keeping the best educators in the early childhood sector.
  • The Ministry proposes to have each early childhood trained teacher assigned from his/her school, to coach pre-trained teachers in one other school, that does not have a trained teacher.

The Government is increasing the subsidy provided to early childhood teachers by 15 per cent, with further adjustments to be made in the next financial year.

Making the disclosure on Wednesday, May 7, during his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, Minister of Education, the Hon. Rev Ronald Thwaites, said the increase is part of measures aimed at keeping the best educators in the early childhood sector.

Meanwhile, he said in order to have one trained teacher available at least part-time in each early childhood institution, the Ministry proposes to have each early childhood trained teacher assigned from his/her school,  to coach pre-trained teachers in one other school, that does not have a trained teacher.

“Teachers who make this additional effort will be offered incentives,” the Minister noted.

He added that the Ministry will also be engaging the services of 200 trained teachers through the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), as well as 40 others who will provide coaching and teaching support to 480 schools.

While calling on the Opposition, and the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), to support the proposal, Minister Thwaites emphasised that the move is geared at ensuring that children achieve their fullest potential.

“As the Ministry strengthens the early childhood sector, for children four to eight years old, we expect that many basic schools will continue to provide good developmental and educational experiences for the zero to three year olds,” he said.

Turning to matters concerning the curriculum, the Minister told the House that the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) will carry out a pilot project between May and June, to assess the Readiness Evaluation. The programme identifies children as either being on target for entry to primary school, or requiring additional support.

Meanwhile, the Minister noted that the role of parents in their children’s early life and beyond, is crucial. He said the ECC and the National Parenting Support Commission (NSPC) will be collaborating to equip Resource Centres, for parents with young children, especially those with special educational needs.

While encouraging parents to build a strong foundation for their children, the Minister also reiterated his call for mandatory naming of fathers on every child’s birth certificate. “Being a good parent is the supreme achievement of any mother or father,” he stated.

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