JIS: The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) has made two changes to its Programme for Adolescent Mothers (PAM), which is delivered at the Centre’s 18 locations across the island.

 

The changes, which came into effect at the start of the 2019/2020 academic year, involve increasing academic instruction from four to five days per week and the offering of three new subjects.

 

“We are now going to be operating a five-day week for the girls to access their academic instructions, the extent of counselling and the vocational subjects,” said WCJF Executive Director, Dr. Zoe Simpson at a JIS Think Tank on September 6.

 

She said that the changes will better prepare the girls to return to the formal school system.

 

“We are now offering English Literature, Principles of Business and Civics. Some of these subjects are offered to the girls who are doing their school-leaving exams but the girls that we want to call the ‘lower-school girls’ were not exposed to them.

 

“Hence as we seek to better prepare them to return to the formal school system, we are now introducing to the girls that are going to be reintegrated, these additional subjects,” Dr. Simpson said.

 

She noted that the focus of the WCJF is to educate adolescent mothers in an environment of inclusivity and equity.

 

“We want all the adolescent mothers in Jamaica to access and to continue their education during the period of their pregnancies, and all of them should be on par with their peers when they return to school,” she said.

 

“They must not be left behind on account of a pregnancy. It doesn’t matter that a girl is pregnant; she can still achieve all her life goals and we want to walk beside her to ensure that she achieves those goals,” Dr. Simpson added.

 

CAPTION: Executive Director of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF), Dr. Zoe Simpson, addresses a JIS Think Tank on September 6, where she announced changes to the Centre's programme for adolescent mothers.