Ruel Reid supports strong early childhood education


Chairman of the National Council on Education (NCE), Ruel Reid, says that with a strong early childhood education system, supported by family involvement, the education system can consistently deliver good results.
Mr. Reid told a forum hosted by the NCE and the St. Elizabeth Homecoming Foundation at the HEART/NTA Vocational Institute, Black River, St. Elizabeth, on Monday (November 15), looking at the financing of education, that studies have shown that children exposed early to equity in education perform well.
“If you want full access for everybody, and equity for everybody, you have to ensure that every child has an equitable start. It begins with the home, it begins with family. Teachers cannot create minds, so early childhood care is critically important,” he stated.
The NCE Chairman noted that, while funding is crucial in positive outcomes from the schools, absence of parental support and weak early childhood systems will hinder any fully funded educational system.
“We have to tackle that aspect, so that our children are ready from the start for primary education” he said. He also warned parents against ignoring their children’s academic work, which could lead to the child not doing well.
“So we must set the example, by saying that parental support is critical for a bright educational system,” he told his audience.
Mr. Reid stressed that teachers must not only teach and prepare bright students, but must take students from the margins and bring them up to acceptable standards.
“Every school needs an institutional improvement plan that is specific to that school, so that we can have not only equity in access, but equity in quality,” he said.

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