UWI Crest Campus Image: Mona Curve image for menu aesthetics
Coloured Mural
Marketing and Communications Office
Search |


Professionals working in the Early Childhood Education sector in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean will have the opportunity to acquire management and leadership skills in Early Childhood Development through an innovative web-based Masters degree programme which has been introduced at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

The On-line Master of Education in Leadership in Early Childhood Development was launched on Monday, June 27, 2004 by Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, the Hon. Dr. Donald Rhodd, at a ceremony held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge and Conference Centre on the Mona Campus.

Developed by the UWI’s Institute of Education, the programme is one component of a larger project, Child Focus 11: Strengthening Early Childhood Development in the Caribbean, coordinated by the Caribbean Child Development Centre at the UWI. Funding support for the development of the programme was provided by the Inter American Development Bank (IADB).

The web-based programme targets the critical need to provide trained leaders for early childhood systems, in recognition of the fact that the majority of individuals in early childhood leadership positions lack adequate training for their jobs.

The course will be delivered by the School of Education through a mix of face-to-face summer and on-line sessions, with courses offered during four week summer sessions as well as on-line during the two semesters of the academic year. Over the period, participants will cover topics including child development, contemporary early childhood development issues, programme management, leadership, strategic management and change. There will also be a Research Methods component.

Addressing participants at the launch ceremony, Dr. Rhodd, called for a strengthening of the partnerships between professional development providers, early childhood services and teachers and the forging of stronger connections with families and communities. He said that all groups involved in early childhood education needed to be willing to combine their different areas of expertise to address areas of greatest professional challenge and find the ways in which the system will ensure that all learners succeed.

He argued that any development in Early Childhood is a step toward economic and national development. Ensuring healthy child development is an investment in a country’s future workforce and capacity to thrive economically and as a society. However, if the country is to position early childhood development as the first springboard for economic development and create a system that guarantees success for all our children, then research had to be translated into policy and policy needed to be transformed into the implementation of quality training programmes and interventions even at the highest level, he said.

The Minister of Sate hailed the Early Childhood Development Leadership Master of Education programme as one component of the capacity building strategy to strengthen the leadership base of the Early Childhood Development sector within the Caribbean region. He said that the need for leadership and management training for the sector had been established for some time. He noted that despite an increased emphasis on professional development, many teachers of young children remained frustrated about the lack of opportunities to advance their careers. In order to make progress, many teachers assumed management responsibility for which they do not have any training or leadership skills. He added that increasing attention to the need for effective leadership of the education and day care sector had converged with growing agreement on the critical importance of the early childhood period in providing the foundation for all subsequent levels of the developmental process.

Against that background, the UWI’s decision to meet the need for effective leadership by offering the Masters degree in Education Leadership was a step in the right direction, providing early childhood leaders with the knowledge and skills required to promote and advocate for child development in the Caribbean region.

The ceremony was chaired by Coordinator for the M.Ed On-line programme, Dr. Monica Brown. Other speakers were the Director of the School of Education, Professor Hyacinth Evans, the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, Professor Aggrey Brown, Project Director for Child Focus 11, Mrs. Sian Williams, and Lecturer in Early Childhood Education/Project Coordinator Dr. Rose Davies. The vote of thanks was delivered by the Head of the Institute of Education, Miss Joan Tucker.

- 30 -

© The University of the West Indies. All rights reserved. Disclaimer | Privacy Statement
Telephone: (876) Fax: (876)
Site best viewed at 800 x 600 resolution or higher.