Career & Education

Community colleges to access funds to strengthen course delivery

Sunday, July 02, 2017

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The island's community colleges are to receive support to strengthen the delivery of technical education programmes and to provide market-relevant, quality training to disadvantaged youth under a memorandum of understanding between Family Health International (FHI) 360 and the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ).

The agreement will result in the institutions adopting FHI 360's Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Regional Workforce Programme, dubbed Advance, which will see them benefiting from improved curriculum design and pedagogy, professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, and enhanced labour market-bridging services to help students find gainful employment after graduating.

Among the targeted areas of training are agribusiness, the creative industries and tourism.

Disadvantaged students' access to selected technical education programmes will also be improved through the provision of scholarships and the strengthening of the institutions' recruitment and admissions practices.

The programme, which will also be available to Guatemala and Honduras, is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at an overall cost of US$35 million.

Welcoming the programme, state minister for education, youth and information Floyd Green said it “aligns perfectly with all we're trying to do in Government”.

“We're trying to bring sharp focus to the issue of technical education. We see it as a necessary part of our training module,” he said at a function to announce the programme at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Monday.

Green informed that it is important to change the thinking that technical, vocational, education and training (TVET) is a remedial course of study, noting that “it is not a second chance training module”.

“People believe that if you are doing technical studies, it must be because you are unable to do anything else. That is not the way of the world now,” he said, pointing out that modern society now requires more technical skills.

Green lauded the community colleges for being the first tertiary institutions to adopt the Advance programme, noting that the high-quality training will be accessible by most Jamaicans, particularly those in rural areas.

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