JFLL to go into Deep Rural Communities

Story Highlights

  • Executive Director of the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), Worrel Hibbert, says his organisation will be making a concerted effort to go into deep rural communities to market education as the main gateway to success.
  • Mr. Hibbert said this is why it is critically important to form partnerships with different stakeholders throughout the society, so as to effectively tackle the problem of illiteracy.
  • For his part, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, said the HSDE programme gives everybody who, for whatever reason, was unable to obtain a high school diploma, a second chance to improve on their education.

Executive Director of the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), Worrel Hibbert, says his organisation will be making a concerted effort to go into deep rural communities to market education as the main gateway to success.

Mr. Hibbert told JIS News that statistics have shown that rural illiteracy is greater than urban illiteracy and that as part of the JFLL’s mandate, every community in Jamaica has to be afforded the opportunity of an education.

“The most recent statistics I have seen show that we have 88 per cent of the adult population that is literate. There is still that 12 per cent of persons 15 years and older who are unable to read and write…that is 250,000 out of the adult population. These people can’t be employed because they are unable to read and write,” he said.

Mr. Hibbert said this is why it is critically important to form partnerships with different stakeholders throughout the society, so as to effectively tackle the problem of illiteracy.

“Here at JFLL, we provide the opportunity for people to upgrade themselves. In addition to our literacy programme, we also administer the High School Diploma Equivalency (HSDE) Programme, which is not for the illiterate, but rather for people who have fallen through the cracks. They have gone to school, but for whatever reason they do not have a certificate to show,” he noted.

Mr. Hibbert explained that the JFLL’s aim is to continue to position itself as the market leader in the provision of non-formal, adult, basic and continuing education and as a facilitator for lifelong learning to Jamaicans who lack secondary level education and certification.

Participants in the HSDE, he said, receive accreditation through the HEART Trust/National Council on Technical Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET).

Mr. Hibbert informed that the JFLL is currently engaged in a series of facilitator training sessions to ensure impactful delivery of the HSDE curriculum. This, he said, will include instructional methods in the teaching of adults.

The programme, which forms part of the Foundation’s rebranding initiative, is geared at providing learners with internationally recognised secondary certification at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Caribbean Vocational Qualification, and National Vocational Qualification levels.

“Through the HSDE programme, we want to send the message that…it is not too late to improve the standard of your education,” the Executive Director added.

He noted that the JFLL is also in dialogue with the Ministry of Education to explore how some of the recently closed schools in the formal system can be used by the JFLL as adult centres, adding that the organisation is reviving and expanding its network of partner education institutions to extend its reach into more communities.

“We are also in dialogue with the Ministry to explore how underutilized teachers in the formal education system can be deployed to the JFLL to strengthen and increase our ranks to deliver the HSDE. We are seeking partnerships with schools, teachers colleges, vocational training institutions, churches, community centres, civic groups and private sector organisations,” Mr. Hibbert said.

For his part, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, said the HSDE programme gives everybody who, for whatever reason, was unable to obtain a high school diploma, a second chance to improve on their education.

Emphasising that the country’s future depends on having an educated society with marketable skills, Rev. Thwaites said he is hoping that the HSDE programme and all of the offerings of JFLL will be taken up in every workplace in the country, and that employers “will see it to their advantage to support JFLL and their workers engaging in continuing education.”

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