Tue | Aug 14, 2018

Honour Awards: JFLL Empowering Through Education

Published:Wednesday | January 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM
  • Traditionally, JFLL programmes of study cover basic literacy and numeracy. On July 24, 2014, however, a new national curriculum was launched in the form of a High School Diploma Equivalency programme.

  • There are approximately 1,500 adult learners enrolled in JFLL's high school equivalency pilot, with another 3,000 learners waiting to come on stream in the next phase. This is an increase of approximately 100 per cent over the previous year.

  • To execute the revolution planned JFLL, in the last year, undertook improved programme delivery to include traditional face-to-face classes; blended modalities; and online access to facilitate long-distance learning.

  • JFLL and HEART Trust/NTA are currently partnering to develop the first National Diagnostic Assessment and Referral system. Another new partnership is being pursued with the Caribbean Examinations Council and E-learning for the development of instructional materials and provision of technical support

Those who are familiar with the mantra of 'no child left behind' will immediately understand the related mission of the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), which is to encourage adults to learn basic literacy and numeracy, eventually leading to higher education.

The agency of the Ministry of Education, which began its life as JAMAL Foundation in 1973, reinvented itself in 2013 in order to empower Jamaicans aged 17 and over to improve their lives and contribute to national development. This saw the organisation transforming its image of not just offering basic education to adults but becoming a leading entity in adult lifelong learning.

This literacy renaissance undertaken by the organisation saw JFLL being recognised by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a model entity for adult and lifelong learning in the region.

Currently, 3,615 adult learners are enrolled in the 29 adult education centres across the island. This represents 75 per cent of the current operating capacity of the learning network. By the end of the academic year 2014-2015, JFLL would have successfully enrolled 5,000 adult learners. This is an increase of approximately 50 per cent over the same period last year. The plan is to achieve a target of 10,000 active learners by 2016.

JFLL also boasts an increase in percentage pass rate among its students who sat the 2014 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). A total of 26 learners sat mathematics and 17 passed, which represented a pass rate of 65 per cent: 30 learners sat English language and 15 passed, which represented a pass rate of 50 per cent; three learners sat social studies and two passed, which represented a pass rate of 67 per cent; while one student sat and passed human and social biology.
For the initiative taken in introducing new and more effective methods of adult education, The Gleaner Company is pleased to present the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) with The Gleaner Honour Award for its invaluable contribution to Education in 2014.

What They Say about JFLL

WORRELL HIBBERT - executive director, Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning

JFLL's mandate is to provide quality education and reach out to adults who had been disenfranchised from the education system. We are on a mission to educate people who need a second chance for education.

Since 2006, it would have probably been an average of 3,000 to 4,000 persons enrolled per year and, certainly, this year we have about 5,000 learners added to the programme.

We teach these individuals to read and write in order to provide a pathway for them to further their education. We ask that our learners matriculate to HEART Trust as well as other higher points of study.

There are currently 29 centres islandwide that cover all 14 parishes, because we want to ensure that access is available to everybody. We are also looking at exploring partnerships with different entities so that we can even develop greater access to our people.

PASTOR DAVID CHANG - founder and senior pastor, Majesty Transformation Fellowship Church

From robberies, fatal shootings and even imprisonment, David Chang was able to drastically turn his life around and give it to the Lord. He is now a pastor at the Majesty Transformation Fellowship Church in Majesty Gardens, Kingston.

A large portion of this change was attributed to Chang learning how to read and write, as being a school dropout he never learnt those basic skills.

"A man that can't read and write often resorts to a lot of crime. As a big man, it is not a good feeling, it is very shameful. Not even girl you want to talk to, because they will find out," shared Chang.

"A lot of pride came when I learnt how to read and write. It was like I was starting to open my eyes to a different world, a whole new reality."

He continued: "There are some simple things that I never knew about, such as parliament, councillor and MP (member of parliament). Looking back, that was bad because I used to war in the 1980s for JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) and PNP (People's National Party) and I didn't even know what an MP was, I just grow up see people fighting over politics and joined them.

"These are some of the things that JFLL helped me with; it taught me that as a big man it was never too late to learn. JFLL doesn't pressure you either, they take time with you and teach you some things that looked ridiculous before - such as phonics and the sounds that the different letters made.

"You have teachers that encourage and motivate you to do well, they push you to excel and I believe that other people should make use of the programmes offered at JFLL as they will push you to do greater things. You are never too old to learn."

JUNIOR FORBES - poet and songwriter

JFLL has really helped me. Before, I did not remember a lot of things, such as collective nouns, synonyms and antonyms. By reading and writing each day, I was able to better myself and have a better understanding of the things around me.

I am very grateful to the teachers and the organisations, as they have been very helpful and motivated me a lot. People around me are already expressing interest to take part in the programme.

I would also recommend that other people take part in the programme. You can never stop learning; do not be ashamed.