Sat | May 25, 2019

Food for the Poor partners with Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College

Published:Friday | November 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Unveiling the sign at the official opening of the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College Diagnostic & Early Intervention Centre is Senator Ruel Reid (sixth from left), minister of education, youth and Information assisted by Bishop Conrad Pitkin, custos rotulorum, St James. Also present (from left) are Marcia Phillips-Dawkins, managing director, National Education Trust; Norman Reid, chairman of the board of governors, Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College; Carolyn Mahfood, Programme for the Advancement of Childhood Education Canada; Dr Lorna Gow-Morrison, acting principal of the College; David Mair, executive director, Food For The Poor Jamaica; past principals and Rena Forbes, representative for the Western Central St James member of parliment.

Jamaican children with learning disabilities can often slip through the cracks and fall behind as they pursue their education.

For this reason, and underlining its commitment to education in Jamaica, Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica has collaborated with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, the National Edu-cation Trust and the Programme for the Advancement of Childhood Education Canada on the construction of the Sam Sharpe Teachers' College Diagnostic & Early Intervention Centre.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid officially opened the centre on the college campus in Granville.

"The opening is yet another reminder that we are always better and always stronger when we work together," said David Mair, executive director of FFP Jamaica.

"In this regard, we salute the efforts of the Ministry of Education in funding the construction of this diagnostic and early-intervention centre, which will provide comprehensive screening and diagnostics to ensure the highest quality education of our students," he added.

Mair provided examples of FFP Jamaica's dedicated support for the education of children, especially the most vulnerable, over the years.

He indicated that the Jamaica 50 campaign, launched in 2012, has constructed and refurbished over 100 basic schools across the island. The charitable organisation has also built modern sanitary conveniences in 78 schools islandwide, where pit latrines are now a thing of the past.


Assistance provided


FFP continues to support several school-feeding pro-grammes; provides back-to-school assistance to needy students; and implements agricultural projects in schools, providing the tools and knowledge for future food safety.

All of this was made possible with the generous support of donors in the United States, Canada and Jamaica.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, acting principal at Sam Sharpe Teachers' College, Dr Lorna Gow-Morrison, said the key objectives of the centre are to offer fair access to treatment for all children and families, regardless of socio-economic status, while offering families the opportunity to make fully informed decisions on the children's future educational path.

Minister Reid said students with special needs not only require special attention, but also a longer time, if necessary, in the education system.

"We need to track every child and make sure they are developing appropriately and where there is need for early intervention, that it takes place," Reid said.