January 24 is International Day of Education. However, the day will be observed on Monday, January 25, under the theme ‘Recover and Revitalise Education for the COVID-19 Generation’.
In marking the day, the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) and the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD) wishes to draw the public’s attention to the unique educational needs of the Deaf Community.
Therefore, the public is being encouraged, as best as possible, to assist youth in their access to deaf education during these challenging times.
Executive Director of the CCCD, Tashi Widmer, pointed out that
“quality education must be inclusive, academically rigorous, researched and culturally relevant in facilitating and meeting the diverse learning and development needs of the deaf and hearing, so all may rise as active and effective contributors of nation-building in Jamaica and the world.”
Meanwhile, Executive Director of JAD, Kimberley Sherlock Marriot-Blake, said the Association encourages parents and guardians that in providing quality education for the children, to start with ensuring that they are placed in the educational institution that best meets their needs.
“As we work to assure access to education for all children, we encourage you to acknowledge hearing challenges experienced by children and engage with us [JAD] for communication support and deaf education placement where necessary,”
Mrs Sherlock Marriot-Blake said that management partner, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and funding agencies such as the USAID has remained focus in providing the Deaf education for all ages, and improving the language development of deaf and hard of hearing children.
According to Mrs Sherlock Marriot-Blake, through guided language enrichment activities, the introduction of Jamaican Sign Language as a curriculum subject, and training teachers and parents in using appropriate techniques for learning support, the JAD has been able to manage the deaf learning institutions.
“We applaud the work of our Education and Training Division for their support to not only JAD but all schools for the Deaf across the island. The JAD’s vision of a Deaf community of nation builders is supported by the overarching objective of literacy development, and together with the CCCD and Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf, we continue to strive towards quality education for our Deaf and hard of hearing youth,”
Quality education is one of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Goal one of Jamaica’s National Development Plan – Vision 2030, which is fully supported and endorsed by JAD.