JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has announced that the National Age-Four School Readiness Assessment shows that 92 per cent of children at the early-childhood level are at the required learning development stage and eight per cent within the international standard.

 

The Minister was speaking at the J. Wray & Nephew (JWN) Foundation scholarship awards ceremony, held on August 24 at the company’s corporate office in New Kingston.

 

The assessment tool was developed and administered collaboratively by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) and the Student Assessment Unit in the Ministry of Education to identify weak areas and undertake remedial interventions as well as make referrals for physical and emotional challenges displayed by the children.

 

This assessment, done by the teachers, will determine the readiness of four-year-old children to transition to the primary-school system.

 

It was used for the first time this year on May 10 and 11 in early childhood institutions across the island.

 

The Minister said the initiative is in line with the Ministry’s objective to foster quality education standards “from the womb” to the tertiary level.

 

“We have to build a robust and resilient education system from the base for persons to have a strong education from early up to age 29 and beyond. We have to ensure that children have a sound education from infancy,” he emphasised.

 

The assessment will become an annual activity.

 

Meanwhile, through the JWN Foundation scholarships, more than 100 families will be relieved of their back-to-school expenses.

 

Bursaries totalling $10 million, book vouchers and back-to-school supplies have been awarded to 85 secondary and 37 tertiary-level students.

 

The scholarship programme is open to students from the communities of Seaview Gardens and Waterhouse in Kingston and Appleton in St. Elizabeth, as well as the children of J. Wray & Nephew staff.

 

Chairman of J. Wray & Nephew, Clement Lawrence, said the programme, which is in its 10th year, is the company’s contribution to social development through the education sector.

 

“This represents a $2-million increase over the value of the scholarships offered last year and reaffirms our commitment to positively shape lives through education,” he said.

 

For the scholarships,  applicants must maintain a ‘B’ average and be recommended to the programme by a community member, church pastor or a member of the St. Andrew South Police Division, which is affiliated with the Foundation.

 

CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (right), is presented with a token on behalf of J. Wray & Nephew (JWN) Foundation, by scholarship recipient Lenworth Hydol, during the Foundation’s annual awards ceremony, held on August 24 at the J. Wray Nephew Limited’s corporate offices, in New Kingston. Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (right), is presented with a token on behalf of  J. Wray & Nephew (JWN) Foundation, by scholarship recipient Lenworth Hydol, during the Foundation’s annual awards ceremony, held on August 24 at the J. Wray Nephew Limited’s corporate offices, in New Kingston.