JIS: Jamaica House Basic School is the latest and first institution in Kingston and St. Andrew to be certified by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).
This means that the institution have successfully attained the ECC’s 12 operational standards.
These relate to staffing; developmental and educational programmes; interactions and relationships with children; physical environment; indoor and outdoor equipment, furnishing and supplies; health; nutrition; safety; children’s rights, protection and equality; interactions with parents and community members; administration; and finance.
Approximately 300 basic schools are being targeted for certification by 2019. Earlier this year, the St. Margaret’s Bay Basic School became the first institution in Portland to be certified.
At a function at Jamaica House Basic School on Tuesday (March 7) to recognise the achievement, ECC Chairperson, Trisha Williams-Singh said the standards are not difficult or unattainable for any of the schools.
“When you look at the most vulnerable in our society, you have to have standards. These standards must require care, strong leadership and effectiveness, because we are dealing with the most vulnerable… the children,” she said.
The ECC Chairperson noted that the certification of Jamaica House Basic School should send a strong signal to the other early-childhood institutions in Jamaica that they, too, can be certified.
The school’s Principal, Veronica Parkinson-Burnett, said the path to certification began in 2007 when she took over as the school’s head.
She noted that the journey was beset with challenges, but the school managed to overcome them through the support of committed parents, teachers and other stakeholders.
“The first inspection report was disheartening and I began working on the shortcomings. The second report was much better, but there was room for improvement. With all hands on deck, the school worked hard on the standards,” she said, while acknowledging the various contributors.
Jamaica House Basic School was established in 1974.
CAPTION: Early Childhood Commission (ECC) Acting Executive Director, Karlene Deslandes (left), presents the ECC certification to Principal of Jamaica House Basic School, Veronica Parkinson-Burnett, during a ceremony at the institution in St. Andrew on Tuesday (March 7). The certification signals the institution’s attainment of the ECC’s 12 operational standards.