JIS News

A three-member team from the Programme for Alternative Student Support (PASS), of the Ministry of Education, are in the United Kingdom (UK) on a fact finding visit, hosted by the London based From Boyhood to Manhood Foundation (FBMF).
Members of the team include PASS National Co-ordinator, Michael Forester; Assistant Chief Education Officer, Mary Nicholson and Pass Director, Dr. David Edwards. The team, along with FBMF founder, Decima Francis, called on Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the UK, Burchell Whiteman, on June 24.
Mr. Forester explained that the PASS programme, which was established in 2000, is growing from strength to strength, and he is looking forward to further collaboration with groups like the FBMF, to exchange ideas and look at best practices.
In her remarks, Miss Francis said the FBMF began in 1996 out of concern about the exclusion rate among young black boys in Britain. After doing research in the area, it started a programme targeting 11 to 16 years olds, aimed at keeping at risk or vulnerable boys in the education system. She told the High Commissioner that the project now runs an independent day centre (school). It has developed a similar project in the Tower Hill area of Jamaica with the Griffins Trust.
The group is now planning to hold a conference on the work and research that has been done, to highlight the work accomplished over the years and the progress that has been made.
The PASS project in Jamaica is designed to address the needs of secondary level students with chronic behavioural problems that can affect their education. The programme offers an alternative to suspensions or expulsions and provides students with opportunities for psychological assessment and/or therapy . This gives the student an opportunity to reform and complete his or her education .
The programme also looks at possible professional treatment for students who may need specialised psychological therapy and provides assistance and support for parents of these children.

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