THE University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) and the Government of Jamaica acting through the Child Development Agency (CDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at a special ceremony on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at the offices of the Ministry of Youth and Culture in Kingston.
Under the agreement, UTech levels 3 and 4 students who are pursuing the Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Development (BSc ChAD) will provide assistance to the CDA in a number of areas aimed at boosting the work of the agency in child and adolescent development.
In addition to the complement of 100 BSc ChAD students who will participate in the programme, all year one UTech students who are required to do 40 hours of community service can opt to work with various CDA institutions as part of the collaboration.
The collaboration will include:
* Externships and/or practicums with various CDA institutions
* Internships and placement for graduates of UTech's BSc ChAD programme
* Community service in child adolescent development
* Assistance with counselling, mentoring and psychological assessment of CDA cases
* Assistance with the investigation of cases which come to the CDA
* Collaborative research
* Continuing education programmes in child adolescent development
* Public education programmes.
Describing the collaboration as "a good day in Jamaica for children", Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, who invited UTech earlier this year to explore opportunities for partnerships with the CDA, noted further that, "the CDA plays a very instrumental role in how we guide, shape and mould our children." She revealed that there are close to 5,700 children in state care with more than 60 per cent of them passing examinations and opting for continuing education.
The minister thanked UTech President Prof Errol Morrison for his vision and the assistance being provided by the university that will enable a more focused support for children in state care in Jamaica.
Prof Morrison said that the participation of UTech students in the work of the CDA will offer an important boost in providing hands-on training in the field for which they are being prepared. He told the gathering of government officials, representatives from the CDA, the Centre for the Investigation of Sex Offences and Child Abuse (CISOSCA) and the media that, "UTech is pleased to have responded immediately to the call from Government to broker the collaboration with the CDA", adding that as Jamaica's national university, UTech is keen on responding with solutions to the challenges facing the country.
Executive Director of the CDA, Carol Francis Eddie praised UTech for partnering with the CDA and expressed anticipation for a fruitful collaboration that will positively impact the organisation.
Lisa Hanna (second left), Minister of Youth and Culture; UTech President Prof Errol Morrison (centre); and Carol Francis Eddie (second right), executive director of the Child Development Agency affix their signatures to a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions at the offices of the Ministry of Youth Culture on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Sharing in the occasion are Claire Sutherland (left), senior drector, Institutional Relations, UTech; and Karyl Powell-Booth, programme director, Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Development, College of Health Sciences, UTech.