Sun | Nov 19, 2017

Education matters | Students exposed to global business practices at JACE expo

Published:Sunday | July 16, 2017 | 12:52 AM
JACE Region 2 training at Port Antonio High School.
JACE Region 2 training at St. Mary High School.
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Forty-four students and eight student companies from across Jamaica participated last week in Junior Achievement (JA) Jamaica’s Seventh Annual Technology and Innovation Conference at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

They were drawn from the 2016/2017 JA Company of Entrepreneurs Programme (JACE), as well as select participants from the JA Personal Finance and JA Economics for Success programmes. During this learning experience, student delegates were exposed to seminars on customer service, product branding and marketing, a business expo and business challenge designed to intensify their learning about global business issues as well as tackle real-time problems in a team environment.

As part of the weeklong conference, an Entrepreneurial Youth Exposition took place on Friday, July 14 at Emancipation Park, where students from Bishop Gibson High, May Day High, St. Jago High, Wolmer’s Boys’, Cornwall College, Kingston College and Belmont Academy showcased their companies and products created in the 2016/2017 school year as part of the JACE Programme.

On display were products such as smart stand phone display holders, chips made from fruits, customised draw string bags and cosmetic bags, lip balm, pictorial key rings and natural juices.

Since 2009, JA Jamaica has offered the JACE programme as an after school activity/club and interested students, mainly 10th-13th graders, would register to participate.  With USAID’s support and in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI), an expanded format will see the integration of the programme into the educational system as a class that all 9th grade students across the 168 high schools in Jamaica will experience. This expansion will occur over the next three years. Grade 9 Resource & Technology subject teachers have been engaged in training sessions since May. To date 146 teachers have been trained in regions 1, 2, 3 and 6. Students will learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship so they understand the main requirements to start and operate a business.  After grade 9 interested students may continue in an after school club from grades 10 through to 12. Approximately 1,300 students experienced the JACE Curriculum for the 2016/2017 academic year.

About Junior Achievement (JA) Jamaica

Junior Achievement (JA) Jamaica is a registered non-governmental organisation and a member nation of Junior Achievement Worldwide, the world’s largest organisation dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential, hands‐on programming. JA's programmes help to prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs that make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace.

JA Jamaica partners with the Government of Jamaica primarily through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEY & I) and a number of public and private sector entities. Through alliances with local and international partners, JA Jamaica seeks to improve Jamaica’s business environment, to empower the country’s youth, enhance civic participation, and spur transformational education through Junior Achievement’s time‐tested and internationally implemented programmes.

Select Junior Achievement programmes are also taught to Deaf/Hard‐of Hearing students island‐wide. The aim of this initiative is to provide similar workforce development and training opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Jamaican students as their hearing counterparts.

JA Jamaica reaches over 20,000 students annually in Jamaica and to date has reached over 80,000 youth. More information can be found at website www.jajamaica.org.