Jamaica News: State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says the total number of certified early-childhood institutions (ECIs) across the island has increased to 128.
Speaking on September 26 at the handover ceremony for the renovated Middlesex Infant School in Holland Bamboo, St. Elizabeth, the State Minister pointed out that two years ago, there were no registered ECIs, adding that there are 2,513 ECIs in the island.
Mr. Green said the Government remains committed to improving the standard of education at the early-childhood level, and the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) is continuing its work to ensure that ECIs are compliant with the Ministry’s operating standards.
“What we said to the Commission is, let us move from saying we have the standards to getting the schools certified, so we can say the schools have met the standards. When we started the journey, I can tell you there was a lot of push back, because some schools believed that they would never meet the standards. So, when we started, we had absolutely no school that was certified to our 12 standards,” he noted.
The State Minister said that while significant strides have been made in getting some ECIs up to par with the Commission’s operating standards, more needs to be done to get the remaining institutions certified.
“What they need is a little push. That is what we want to see, more schools becoming certified, and not just to say they are certified, but because it makes a difference in the teaching and learning of the children. We want to ensure that when they leave our infant schools that they are well equipped for modern-day reality,” he said.
The State Minister emphasized that private partnership is needed to get more ECIs fit for certification.
The Standards cover a wide range of areas, such as Staffing; Developmental/Educational Programmes; Interactions and Relationships with Children; Physical Environment; Indoor and Outdoor Equipment, Furnishings and Supplies; Health; Nutrition; Safety; Child Rights, Child Protection and Equality; Interactions with Parents and Community Members; Administration; and Finance.
Source: JIS News