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The Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) on Wednesday, July 10, launched its “Renaissance” initiative, which is aimed at repositioning the institution as a viable option for persons, who want to further their education to the secondary level.

The rebranding under the theme: ‘Lifelong Learning for Lifelong Opportunities’ is in keeping with the Government’s focus on improving the human capital in line with the Vision 2030 National Development Plan.

In carrying out its new mandate, the organisation will this year introduce its flagship programme, the High School Diploma Equivalency (HSDE), which is aimed at repositioning the institution as a viable option for persons, who want to further their education to the secondary level.

The rebranding under the theme: ‘Lifelong Learning for Lifelong Opportunities’ is in keeping with the Government’s focus on improving the human capital in line with the Vision 2030 National Development Plan.

In carrying out its new mandate, the organisation will this year introduce its flagship programme, the High School Diploma Equivalency (HSDE), which 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.

The JFLL will formally introduce its rebranding initiative to the public at an all-day ‘Opportunities Fair; set for July 23 at Emancipation Park in Kingston.

Speaking at the launch, Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, said that “there can be no disjuncture anymore between lifelong learning and skills achievement.”

He pointed out, for example, that 75 per cent of HEART applicants in the past were turned away because they had not attained grade nine level education. This, he said, should not be the case for any institution, if the nation is to move forward.

“Wherever they go, whatever their deficiency, is must be identified and a remedy must be prescribed and availed. It is the dream of the Ministry, that come next year, any person, who wishes to avail themselves of lifelong learning must be able to find a place, where, at their pace, and at a reasonable exertion on their part, they can achieve over time,” he stated.

Rev. Thwaites said it is from learning that persons, and the nation as a whole, will earn, and develop its own resources.

Chairman of the JFLL, Audrey Hinchcliffe, said that the rebranding “signals a significant turning point in the life of the JFLL.” She noted that the emphasis on lifelong learning is intended to banish the “out school” mentality that has been a part of the national psyche.

“Through the programmes offered by the JFLL, we want, instead, for our people to embrace the notion that if we are to keep pace with a rapidly changing world, learning must be continuous,” she stated.

She pointed out that the JFLL’s programmes are conceptualised and structured on the premise that if Jamaica is to become a developed nation and to fulfill its potential, persons, who had to discontinue their education during the crucial high school years, must be given a second chance for self-actualization.

Mrs. Hinchcliffe informed that the HSDE will offer courses in English language, mathematics, science and technology, health and family life, and a skill area, among others.

The JFLL was founded in 2006, having been preceded by JAMAL,which successfully sensitised Jamaicans about the importance of literacy and mobilised many to improve their education.

It has 13 regional locations across the island, and over 100 volunteer education centres. 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’.

Contact: Alphea Saunders