By Rochelle Williams
NEW KINGSTON, Jamaica May 12 (JIS) — Early childhood education teachers are to benefit from a further 15 percent increase in salary this year.
State Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, who made the announcement yesterday (May 11), said the pay rise was approved by Cabinet in April.
He noted that the teachers have benefitted from increases of similar amounts over the last two years.
Green was addressing the launch of Sagicor Foundation’s 2016 Adopt-A-School Program at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites in New Kingston.
He said the salary increase to the early childhood teachers is among measures being implemented to strengthen the sector.
“From the Ministry’s perspective, we have been trying to increase our monitoring and increase the resources that we provide and improve the sector,” he said.
He noted that a four-year-old assessment tool has been developed to evaluate children in institutions across the island. The tool, which was rolled out on May 9, aims to assess the cognitive development of the students for the early detection and treatment of those with learning disorders.
“It is part of our full-scale tracking throughout the system so that we can make a plan for the students we encounter. The most critical part is to pick up as early as possible, those students with special needs…so that we can plan specific programs around helping that child,” he explained.
Green also informed that there has been an increase in the allocation for the infrastructure development of institutions in the 2016/17 Budget.
Sagicor’s Adopt-A-School Program aims to provide financial, infrastructural and development support for needy early childhood institutions.
This year, the program will focus on 10 schools and it is anticipated that 1,000 students will be impacted.
The schools are: Plantation Heights, Salmon, Kemps Hill, Sandy Park and Clarion Basic; Fyffes Pen and Dunrobin Early Childhood Institutions; Campden Early Childhood Development Centre; and Allman Town and Central Branch Infant Schools.