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  • Parents are being encouraged to ensure that children are prepared from an early age to fit into the global workforce, by giving them the best guidance in the formative years of their development.
  • “Preparation of our human capital must begin with our children from an early age, and that is why the Ministry will continue to advocate for responsible parenting,” Senator Reid said.
  • The Minister lauded the USAID for supporting development initiatives in Jamaica, noting that the organisation has built “strong and meaningful partnerships” with various sectors.

Parents are being encouraged to ensure that children are prepared from an early age to fit into the global workforce, by giving them the best guidance in the formative years of their development.

             Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said that for Jamaica to take full advantage of the global economy, the “education system must be vibrant and effective,” where parents are integrally “involved in the education and development of their children.”

           The Minister was delivering the keynote address at the closing ceremony for the Partnership for Improved Reading Project, held today (March 17), at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston.

The project was a collaboration between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ministry of Education, with the objective of improving early grade reading in 450 schools across the island.

            “Preparation of our human capital must begin with our children from an early age, and that is why the Ministry will continue to advocate for responsible parenting,” Senator Reid said.

            He noted that information provided to him has indicated that the project has heightened interest in learning by students attending schools where Parents’ Places have been established.

“Although the project has come to an end, the Ministry, through its Education Officers, will urge schools to keep the best practices from the Parents’ Places. The student-parent bond is one which works and the positive results are there to show it,” the Minister said.

  The Minister lauded the USAID for supporting development initiatives in Jamaica, noting that the organisation has built “strong and meaningful partnerships” with various sectors.

          “I applaud the USAID for its funding of education projects, particularly in the most challenged schools, and serving disadvantaged rural and inner city communities,” he added.

            For her part, USAID Mission Director in Jamaica, Denise Herbol, said it is heart warming to know that so many parents now take the initiative “to spend that extra time with their children, and have a shared space to accommodate reading activities.”

           “The Parents’ Place is so critical in a child’s development, that many schools have now adopted this approach,” she said.

            The reading project commenced in September 2013, and has reached over 100,000 students; trained over 1,000 teachers; delivered 125 Parents’ Places; provided thousands of reading books to schools, and provided direct support to teachers.