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One Jamaica Foundation Helping Early Childhood Commission

Jamaica Gleaner / One Jamaica Foundation helping Early Childhood Commission

With the urgent need for Early Childhood Institutions (ECIs), to be certified, one charitable organisation has stepped in to assist the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), in its goal to have 100 institutions certified by August.

Speaking at the recent ECC Certification fair held in Black River, St Elizabeth, Ann Marie Vaz, chairman of the foundation said their focus is on schools that are 50 per cent close to completing the certification, and she has found a workable formula to help parents and teachers to achieve that goal.

“One Jamaica Foundation has decided to enter into a partnership for the benefit of the children, so we don’t pay for labour unless it’s specialised labour that the citizens of the community cannot do,” Vaz said. She stressed, however, that the parents must buy into the idea of helping their children and themselves.

HOWTHEPARTNERSHIPWORKS The partnership works like this: Every parish has an abundance of carpenters, plumbers, masons, electricians and other skilled labourers who are usually parents and or relatives of the children in ECIs. Once the construction and building needs of the schools are identified, the OJF funds are then used to purchase the materials and the team of community labourers, volunteer their time and skills to get everything completed.

“This is the formula we followed to get one school in St Margaret’s Bay, Portland, certified in a record time of six weeks,” said Vaz who also donated $100,000 to Region Five towards the certification of the first school from that region.

‘YOUCANDOITTOO’ “You can do it too,” an enthusiastic Vaz told the attentive group of early childhood stakeholders, adding: “In keeping with the 12 standards set out in the ECC’s mission to have 100 certified schools by August, we have committed to getting 10 more schools in Portland certified to meet that deadline too.”

Vaz said the partnership between the OJF and the ECC is a “no-brainer” because both organisations shared a similar vision. Established on May 15, 2013, the mandate of OJF is to take steps to increase the quality of education for Jamaicans at the early childhood, primary and secondary levels.

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