PACE (Canada) Hosts Students

A group of students and one teacher from Shortwood Teachers’ College in Kingston were hosted by PACE (Canada), recently at the Jamaican Consulate in Toronto.
The group was on a two-week study tour organized by George Brown College, one of the largest community colleges in Toronto. The members visited several of George Brown’s child care centres, which are used as lab schools for training students enrolled in the college’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme. They also participated in academic classes and visited a variety of early childhood institutions.
Fifteen ECE students from George Brown also visited Jamaica for three weeks in January, as part of their Study Abroad programme, where they were placed in several basic schools and daycare centres, namely Silverstone Basic School, Sabina Basic School, Marlin Avenue Basic School, Bridgeport Infant School, Shortwood Practising School, and Portmore Daycare Centre.
This is the seventh year that students from George Brown College have visited Jamaica and the third year that Jamaican students have visited Canada. A total of 76 Canadians and 27 Jamaicans have participated in the programme.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Anne-Marie Bonner praised the ongoing participation between the two colleges, describing it as a successful programme which has enhanced the excellent partnership between Jamaica and Canada and has been beneficial for both countries.
Carol Long, lecturer at Shortwood, said the Jamaican students were excited about what they learnt at the lab schools.
“You can see the enthusiasm. They can see where they can make a change when they go home. They have a lot of teaching materials and are gathering more each day,” she said.
Miss Long also said that men were being encouraged to enroll in the ECE programme, because “the children need to see more father figures”.
The visits by George Brown were initially facilitated by PACE (Canada), formerly Women for PACE (Canada), which has adopted over 200 basic schools in Jamaica. President of the organization, Lorna King, announced that the group’s new name is intended to make the organization more gender inclusive.
“We want to welcome male membership, in recognition of the significant role which men play in the early years of a child’s development,” she said.The Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE), is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
“Our mission is to advocate for children and provide early childhood awareness within our community here in Canada and in Jamaica, especially for pre-school children in situations of racial, cultural or economic disadvantage,” said Miss King.

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