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JIS News

The Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) will be expanding on the number of courses offered by the former Jamaica Movement for the Advancement of Literacy (JAMAL), so as to reach its goal of reducing illiteracy among the adult population in Jamaica.
JFLL Executive Director Elaine Ferguson, told JIS News that the courses will cover basic literacy and that training in computer literacy had already begun.”We are going to expand. and have computer-aided literacy and numeracy, and we are going to be introducing the High School Equivalency Programme,” she explained.
For those who may not be ready for the High School Equivalency Programme, “we are going to have programmes for these persons who are not up to that level, so it’s a total package for adults beginning with basic literacy and everything in between preparing them to get a secondary level education,” she informed further, adding that career counselling would also be included in the Course offerings.
JAMAL, which was instituted some 32 years ago to abolish adult illiteracy, is being dissolved to make way for JFLL. The JFLL will offer a more modern approach to teaching. Mrs. Ferguson informed JIS News that once the transition process was complete, a publicity campaign would be carried out to promote the new programmes. In the meantime, all JAMAL centres are still operating.
“All the centres are currently registering, accepting new learners and starting the new term, so we are in business. I want to make that very clear. JAMAL has not closed down and JAMAL will be transitioning to the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning with no dislocation in its day to day activities,” said the Executive Director.
Approximately 12,000 illiterate to semi-illiterate persons across the island are trained each year under JAMAL programmes. Mrs. Ferguson said that JFLL would continue to train these persons as the target audience had not changed.
She noted however, that her organization was seeking sponsorship from corporate entities to offset the cost of training, since the new programmes would attract a fee. “We will have to charge for these services and part of our remit is we should find a way to accommodate persons.we don’t want to turn back anybody so we will try to work with everybody, who registers into the programme,” she told JIS News.
Mrs. Ferguson pointed out that the fees would not apply until the transition process was complete. “In the interim, we will continue to operate the Jamaica Movement for the Advancement of Literacy (JAMAL) programmes as they have been operating. The changes that we are going to be making will be gradual. It’s not that we are going to close the doors,” she stressed.
Continuing, she said that “once the name change is effected legally, then we will change our letter heads, change our signs and do other preparatory work but as I said, we have already being looking at programmes , so its continuing and adding as we go along”.