JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has embarked on a Zone Leader Master Teachers Programme, designed to identify and address leadership challenges at the early-childhood level.
The initiative is being jointly undertaken with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), and the United States Embassy in Jamaica, which is funding the engagement at a cost of approximately US$20,000.
The programme was launched at the Caenwood Centre on Arnold Road in Kingston, on Monday (December 2).
Education Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said the Programme will address various leadership issues through mentorship, coaching and a range of other best practices, noting that “Jamaica needs to quickly increase the number of quality teachers at the early-childhood level”.
While acknowledging that the early-childhood system provides a fairly “good foundation” for advancing the education of the nation’s children, the Minister contended that it “needs a lot of additional strengthening”.
This, he contended, is imperative as “the quality of our early childhood sector has a direct relationship with the wider economy”.
Against this background, Senator Reid advised that the programme will not only train teachers at the early-childhood level to better master their craft and better educate infants through the Brain Builders programme but also revolutionise the sector.
In this regard, the Minister thanked the Embassy for funding the initiative’s implementation.
The Embassy’s Counsellor for Public Affairs, Jeremiah Knight, said they are pleased to be a part of the undertaking, noting that “no one can deny the importance of… focusing on this [early-childhood] area of education”.
ECC Chair, Trisha Williams-Singh, said the programme is a welcome intervention and milestone, as it will provide peer support for the system’s 10,000-plus practitioners
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (left), greets Counsellor for Public Affairs at the United States Embassy in Kingston, Jeremiah Knight, during the launch of the Ministry’s Zone Leader Master Teachers Programme at the Caenwood Centre Auditorium in Kingston on Monday (December 3).