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Children to benefit from the IRIE Classroom Toolbox - Violence prevention programme to be implemented in early childhood institutions islandwide

Published:Sunday | August 4, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Early Childhood Commission field officers on day three of the recent IRIE Classroom Toolbox Training programme.

The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) has collaborated with UNICEF and the Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR) to implement a violence prevention programme in early childhood institutions – the IRIE Classroom Toolbox.

Research has found that corporal punishment by teachers is associated with poor school achievement among Jamaican primary school children. As such, the IRIE Classroom Toolbox is to be integrated into Jamaica’s well-established preschool network. The Toolbox was developed by staff at CAIHR, using the results of an efficacy trial and ongoing documentation of training Jamaican preschool teachers.

UNICEF Jamaica’s education specialist, Dr Rebecca Tortello, explains that, “The training of ECC’s field officers will extend to the early-childhood level, as part of the work we have been doing with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to bolster positive behavioural support within the primary and secondary levels of the school system. So we are very excited to be partnering with the dynamic teams from the ECC and the CAIHR on school-based violence prevention and helping our students to get the right start as early as possible.”

The low-cost training package is designed to be suitable for use with teachers with limited training and working in poorly resourced settings. The package aims to facilitate widespread adoption of key child behaviour management strategies.

Executive director of ECC, Karlene DeGrasse-Deslandes, commended the initiative and work of ECC’s partners.

“Partnerships are critical to the improvement of the early-childhood sector and Jamaica at large. This partnership fosters further education of our practitioners, thus developing our human capital,” said DeGrasse-Deslandes.