$21.5 million for initiatives under child-friendly environment project

A sum of $21.5 million has been allocated by the Government to advance teacher training and development under the ‘Promoting Quality Education and Advancing the Reality of a Child-Friendly Environment’ project.

The details are outlined in the 2020/21 budget, now before the House of Representatives.

The funds provided will go towards conducting Health and Family Life Education training and School-Wide Positive Behaviour Intervention (SWPBI) training and monitoring;  developing a National Strategic Scale Up Plan and crafting and implementing a public relations/marketing plan to generate buy-in for the Plan; and finalise, print and demonstrate use of an Integrated Service Delivery Handbook.

Implemented by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information in 2013, through funding from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the project aims to promote child-friendly spaces in all Jamaican schools by infusing child-friendly principles in the education curriculum.

It also seeks to develop systems and a policy framework that are child-friendly; promote access and equity through the provision and delivery of a curriculum that will empower learners with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities and provide a safe and secure physical environment that is conducive to learning.

As at December 2019, SWPBI was implemented in targeted schools.

After an extension, the project is scheduled to be completed in March 2021.