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NCEL and UNICEF Partner to Create More Child-Friendly Schools


JIS: The National College for Education Leadership (NCEL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for development of digital content to support online leadership training aimed at creating more child-friendly schools.


The content, which will be implemented in at least 10 schools initially by year end, will be crafted in collaboration with the Curriculum and Support Services Unit and the Media Services Unit in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture.


Under the $6-million agreement, which was signed at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle headquarters in Kingston on June 4, the course material content will be made available to school leaders free of cost.


It is in support of a drive by the NCEL to strengthen school leadership and management for the creation of more child-friendly spaces.


These are institutions that promote inclusive access and equal rights of every child; provide healthy, clean, secure and enabling environments; and produce literate, confident and critical thinkers who are more aware of healthy lifestyle choices and more resilient in the face of emergencies.


Director/Principal of the NCEL, Dr. Taneisha Ingleton, said the signing solidifies the entity’s commitment to ensuring that schools provide stimulating learning environments and are safe places where children are nurtured and feel a sense of belonging.


She said that the digital content will promote inclusion, facilitate high standards of learning and enhance the quality of instructional delivery.


Country Representative, UNICF, Mariko Kagoshima, in her remarks at the signing, noted that the partnership with the NCEL will better equip school leaders to prepare every child with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive.


She said that the training is timely, in light of the Chief Inspector’s 2015 Baseline Study, which found that in close to 50 per cent of schools inspected, the teaching methodology used was unsatisfactory or in need of immediate intervention.


She said that the study further revealed that while 12 per cent of schools enjoy high and good leadership, 38 per cent did not attain the minimum acceptable standards of leadership.


A further three per cent were recorded as “seriously lagging behind” in this area and rated as schools in need of immediate support.


Kagoshima said that the readings and video material provided will strengthen the quality of instructional methodology, facilitate wide geographical reach, promote inclusion, and encourage high standards of learning.


Chief Education Officer, Winnie Berry, for her part, said the partnership is a significant step towards creating and fostering a creative and inclusive approach to education.


“This agreement is a milestone in our ongoing improvement in educational offerings,” she added.


CAPTION: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean (seated right), and Country Representative, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mariko Kagoshima (seated left), affix their signatures to a memorandum of understanding formalising the partnership between the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL) and UNICEF for development of digital content to support online leadership training. The signing took place at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle headquarters in Kingston on June 4. Observing (standing from left) are Deputy Representative, UNICEF, Vicente Teran; Education Specialist, UNICEF, Dr. Rebecca Tortello; Chief Education Officer, Winnie Berry; and Director/Principal, NCEL, Dr. Taneisha Ingleton.