Wed | Nov 20, 2019

Huge gains for YUTEs

Published:Wednesday | October 23, 2019 | 12:11 AM
MultiCare Youth Foundation (MYF) Chairman Joseph M. Matalon greets Dr Dosseth Edwards-Watson, principal of the Trench Town Polytechnic College, at the October 8 launch of the MYF’s $22.3-million YUTE Teach Project. This was held at the college, which will host the 18-month training project. Sharing the moment are Nathalia Palomino (second left), JUTA marketing manager, and MYF director, education specialist Dr Renee Rattray.

As Trench Town Polytechnic College principal Dr Dosseth Edwards-Watson welcomed those attending the October 8 launch of the MultiCare Youth Foundation’s YUTE Teach Project, she told the 60 trainees that education, as a career, offered huge gains with small risks.

Backgrounding her institution, which will host the 18-month, $22.3-million YUTE Teach Project, Edwards-Watson said, “We are a multidisciplinary community college offering technical vocational programmes, and we are just excited about this YUTE Teach opportunity unfolding before us. Let me encourage the trainees to do their best.”

The protégées are vulnerable young Jamaicans aged 18 to 29. They will receive vocational skills training in early childhood development by the HEART Trust/NTA up to Level 2 certification. They will also benefit from Life and Employability Skills Training, a year of mentoring, and three months of internship placements.

YUTE Teach has been designed to strengthen underserved communities across Kingston and St Andrew. Not only have the trainees been selected from those living in such areas, but the instruction at Trench Town Polytechnic College will cultivate friendship and understanding between groups sometimes at odds with each other. Also, the 60 trainees will serve their internship in a vulnerable community, leading to more qualified teachers in these neighbourhoods on a permanent basis.

The multifaceted YUTE Teach Project has taken three years to develop and is being supported by a unique mix of public, private, civil-society and international sponsors. These include primary sponsor, the ICD Group; HEART Trust/NTA, The American Friends of Jamaica, and the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Programme; JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation and JPS Foundation; Fidelity Motors Ltd; the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Ltd and the Early Childhood Commission.

As MultiCare Youth Foundation Chairman Joseph M. Matalon noted at the launch, research has shown that early childhood education lays the foundation for a child’s development and is more than preparation for primary school but rather has the possibility to nurture caring, capable and responsible future citizens.

Edwards-Watson was happy to point out that institutions offering early childhood education benefited young mothers as well as children.

“We are trying to put in an early childhood day-care facility at the Trench Town Polytechnic College because one of the things I discovered once I came in as principal in 2015 was that our student population was 60 percent male. … When we delved into that, we found that the girls were at home minding babies. So we wanted to increase access.”