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EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMME

The Maria Holder Memorial Trust is partnering with the Higher Education Development Unit (HEDU) of the Ministry of Education and Wheelock College of Boston once again for an expanded programme for teachers. This is an exemplary Public Private Partnership (PPP) that provides invaluable support for Early Childhood Education in Barbados.

As Barbados observes Education Month, a new cohort of 25 teachers attended their programme convocation for the Post Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education on October 16th, 2015 at the Barbados Community College.

The expanded programme includes the postgraduate certificate as well as a survey of nursery school children to determine their readiness for entry into primary school. Another dimension of this programme is the practicum, where the teachers travel to Boston for 10 days in Summer 2016. All three components of this project are fully sponsored by The Maria Holder Memorial Trust for the second successive year.

The survey, to be administered in at least 69 primary schools, is a new component to the project, introduced for the first time this year.

“A study of this nature has never been undertaken in Barbados. We think the findings should be groundbreaking in identifying possible areas for amendment or transformation of Barbados’ educational system and The Maria Holder Memorial Trust is pleased to be playing its part in this Public Private Partnership for the development of Barbados’ future generations”, declared Mary Brewster, Trustee of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust.

The Higher Education Development Unit of the Ministry of Education has indicated that the survey will be done using an Early Development Instrument that has been tested around the world in early childhood development studies. The instrument will be adapted for the Barbadian context and experts from McMaster University in Canada will provide training in the use and administration of the instrument. It is expected that graduate teachers from last year’s cohort will remain engaged and will be used as part of this research component by assisting with the data collection and data entry.

McMaster University will be responsible for the survey assessment and report preparation and will present their findings to the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders.

The funds provided by The Maria Holder Memorial Trust for the entire Certificate in Early Childhood Education project, are given to the Ministry of Education to administer accordingly in keeping with the outlined project.

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