- The programme is geared at providing learners with internationally recognised secondary certification
- The new focus of the JFLL will be on persons 17 years and older
- Various teaching methods, including computer-based on-line techniques, will be used in course delivery
The Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) will be rolling out its flagship High School Diploma Equivalency (HSDE) programme, starting in September this year.
The programme which forms part of the foundation’s rebranding initiative, is geared at providing learners with internationally recognised secondary certification at the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ), and National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) levels.
Speaking at the opening of an ‘Opportunities Fair’, organised by the JFLL at Emancipation Park in Kingston, on July 23, Board Chairman of the JFLL, Audrey Hinchcliffe, said the event not only signaled the re-positioning of the JFLL, but was also designed “to notify every Jamaican in need of high certification, that your chance to achieve that goal is now here through the HSDE programme.”
She said that the new focus of the JFLL will be on persons 17 years and older who left the formal education system without attaining a high school diploma.
“Through the HSDE programme we want to send the message that…it is not too late to improve the standard of your education,” she added.
For his part, Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, said the programme gives everybody who, for whatever reason, was unable to obtain a high school diploma with “a second chance” to improve their educational attainment.
Noting that Jamaica’s future depends on increased educational outcomes, and skills capacity of all citizens, the Minister expressed the hope 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.”
“Education makes you trainable, training makes you employable, employment makes you productive, productivity makes you prosperous. And so today…we open a door of opportunities which was ajar but not fully opened, and so many people did not know what was inside that hall of progress that further education really provides,” he argued.
The Minister further contended that it is not a shame for persons to acknowledge that they need to further their education through the JFLL. “In fact, you are to be congratulated and rewarded when you do, because you are recognizing what is your situation, rather than trying to camouflage it,” Rev. Thwaites said.
In his remarks, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said that regardless of the career one chooses in today’s world, “we now all have to commit ourselves to a process of lifelong learning or skills upgrading to be able to keep pace with a rapidly changing and technologically advanced world.”
He said the Ministry fully supported the JFLL in staging the opportunities fair to guide participants through the process of getting a high schopol diploma, better jobs, appropriate certification, and skills training.
“The JFLL clearly recognises the imperatives of development and prosperity in the 21st Century to the future of our country. By staging today’s fair, it is also telling us that as a society, we will need to pull together all relevant strategies to produce more literate workers if we are going to be able to cope successfully in the race for economic development,” he said.
The HSDE programme was developed in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the CXC, E-learning Jamaica, the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), and the HEART Trust/NTA. Courses will be offered in English Language, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Health and Family Life and a skill area, among others. Various teaching methods, including computer-based on-line techniques, will be used in course delivery.
Through the ‘Opportunities Fair’, which was staged under the theme: ‘Lifelong Learning for Lifelong Opportunities’, the JFLL sought to formally introduce its rebranding initiative to the public, which is showcasing the Foundation as a viable option for persons, who want to further their education.
Throughout the event, attendees were be able to participate in opportunity seminars presented by the JFLL, HEART Trust/NTA, Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) and the CXC. Information was provided on the various programmes offered by the JFLL, which can assist participants to obtain a high school diploma; steps to certification; skills training opportunities for adults who already have high school certification; and how persons can improve their job readiness following the acquisition of a high school diploma.
The JFLL was established as an agency of the Ministry of Education in 2006. It operates 29 Adult Education Centres with 100 volunteer education centres across Jamaica and partners with other agencies and programmes to change lives by offering educational opportunities for persons of all ages.
The JFLL’s mission is to ‘provide in partnership with other organisations, adult education programmes which will establish a culture of lifelong learning that will empower individuals and contribute to national development’.