Zero-to-three strat­egy to rev­o­lu­tionise J’can ed­u­ca­tion

Stabroek News Sunday - - REGIONAL NEWS -

(Ja­maica Gleaner): The most im­por­tant pe­riod of de­vel­op­ment in a child’s life is the first 1,000 days, and that fact was re­in­forced by the launch of the zero-to-three strat­egy, Ja­maica Brain Builders Pro­gramme, on Fri­day, at the Cyn­thia Shako Early Child­hood and Day Care Cen­tre at the Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy.

The launch fol­lowed mul­ti­ple con­sul­ta­tions and marked the first pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion of the pro­gramme that could rev­o­lu­tionise Ja­maica’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem by putting greater fo­cus on the for­ma­tive years of a child.

“What we are do­ing is that we are build­ing the na­tion’s brains, which is why we need to ex­plain to the coun­try why the first 1,000 days are im­por­tant,” stated Mau­reen Samms-Vaughan, pro­fes­sor of child health, child de­vel­op­ment and be­hav­iour at the Univer­sity of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.

Samms-Vaughan, who gave an overview of the pro­gramme, ex­plained that the first 1,000 days ac­tu­ally start at con­cep­tion and not at birth, not­ing that the em­pha­sis that was now be­ing placed on this most for­ma­tive of days of a child would aid in the over­all ca­pac­ity of that child to learn and re­tain through adult­hood.

“That first few days en utero is ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal be­cause if we don’t get things right from in­side the womb, then we are go­ing to have prob­lems all the way through life,” she said.

“That’s why it starts at en utero with the first 270 days, it takes all of the first year of life, and it takes all of the sec­ond year of life, which goes right up to two years, 11 months and 30 days, which is where the first 1,000 days stop.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Ruel Reid told the gath­er­ing that ap­prox­i­mately $540 mil­lion has al­ready been se­cured for the rolling out of the zero-to-three strat­egy is­land wide. An ad­di­tional $72 mil­lion has been made avail­able from the CHASE (Cul­ture, Health, Arts, Sports and Ed­u­ca­tion) Fund.

Reid, who has been cham­pi­oning this new ap­proach to ed­u­cat­ing the is­land’s chil­dren, said that after all the tech­nocrats meet and the pol­icy is drafted and leg­is­lated, all that’s left for him to do as min­is­ter is to im­ple­ment it.

“I think that all of us are very clear that if we are go­ing to have an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that de­liv­ers the out­come that we all want, with all the in­gre­di­ents, that make all the con­nect­ing parts work to­gether for that achieve­ment, then start­ing with the first 1,000 days must be that path we take,” said Reid, who in­di­cated that he was a huge fan of the ed­u­ca­tion model in Fin­land, which is ranked at the top among de­vel­oped na­tions.

Wind speed prob­a­bil­i­ties for Trop­i­cal Storm Beryl as at 2 p.m. Sat­ur­day, July 7. (Im­age from NOAA)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Guyana

© PressReader. All rights reserved.