7 th meeting and 2 nd interamerican csr early childhood meeting october 11 12 2012
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7 th Meeting and 2 nd Interamerican CSR & Early Childhood Meeting October 11- 12 2012. Marie Archer Hitchins Barita Education Foundation (BEF) Kingston, Jamaica. Demographic Overview. Jamaica is a small island in the Caribbean Population approximately 3M Official Language – English

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7 th Meeting and 2 nd Interamerican CSR & Early Childhood Meeting October 11- 12 2012

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7th Meeting and 2nd Interamerican CSR & Early Childhood Meeting October 11- 12 2012

Marie Archer Hitchins

Barita Education Foundation (BEF)

Kingston, Jamaica

Demographic Overview

  • Jamaica is a small island in the Caribbean

  • Population approximately 3M

  • Official Language – English

  • Spoken Language - Jamaican Creole

Economic Overview

  • Moved from what was mainly agrarian economy to a service oriented economy

  • GDP Per Capita – US$5,562 - 2011 (WB)

  • Unemployment – 14.3% - 2012 (STATIN)

  • Debt to GDP Ratio – 128.3% - 2010 (PIOJ)

  • Global Competitive Index 2011-2012 ranked Jamaica at 107 out of 142 countries

Global Competitiveness

  • Why are we here & How do we increase our competitiveness?

  • Have we invested enough in human & social capital?

  • Is our economic underperformance tied educational underperformance?

  • What can we do about it?

Educational Challenges

  • Children underperforming at primary and secondary levels.

  • Thirty Percent of primary school graduates can illiterate

  • Fifty Five Percent innumerate

    National Council on Education (NCE)2009

Implications for Development

A service economy requires a labour force that is:

  • Literate

  • Numerate

  • Able to think critically

  • Able to communicate effectively in English

Hence the Need for a highly developed ECE programme in Jamaica

Overview Early Childhood Sector

  • 2,000 pre-schools & day-care centers

  • Ninety Percent Enrollment in pre-schools

  • Churches heavily invested in pre-schools & primary schools

    This indicates that parents have bought into the importance of education at the early childhood level.

Community Schools

  • 99% of the pre-schools and day-care centers are community based and privately operated

  • Schools must have a Board of Management

  • The Operators are Members of the community

  • Operators & teachers inadequately trained

The Model

  • Community-based

  • Privately owned & operated

  • Low-cost

  • Delivered by untrained personnel

  • High coverage nationally

  • 99% enrollment

  • Community & Parent support

  • Policy Support

Is The Model Working & what are the Policy Implications?

Government’s Commitment

2004 established Early Childhood Commission (ECC). An inter-sectoral body comprising health, education and social welfare services

Responsible for:

  • Developing Policy & Regulations

  • Regulating Programmes & Services

  • Establishing Standards

  • School Inspections

The Early Childhood Commission

Establishment of a comprehensive legal, regulatory and policy framework:

  • Early Childhood Act and Regulations, 2005

  • National Plan of Action for ECD

  • National Strategic Plan for ECD

  • National Parenting Policy

  • National Parenting Support Commission

ECE as a Social Contract

The Early Childhood Programme in Jamaica is a tripartite arrangement between the:

  • Community

  • Government

  • Private sector


Barita Education Foundation

  • Managed by a private sector company

  • Engaged in ECE

  • Critical Player

  • A model for CSR in Early Childhood Education

BEF Board & Students with Former Minister of Education/Prime Minister

Barita Education Foundation: Vision

  • Students acquire strong foundational skills in Literacy and Numeracy

  • Students transition successfully to Primary School

  • Teachers equipped with skills in Numeracy and Literacy instruction for effective teaching

  • Parents equipped to support their children

  • Optimum educational outcomes for Partner Schools

The Friends & Barita Investments

  • Five-year community based literacy project managed by three businesswomen

  • Barita Investments Ltd., the oldest stock brokerage firm in Jamaica, principal sponsor

  • Programme assumed by Barita Investments Ltd.

  • Foundation established in 2004

  • Focus on training, skills transfer & instruction

Barita Education Foundation: Board of Directors

The Programme

The BEF Programme is a Two-year intervention which focuses on:

  • Literacy

  • Numeracy

  • Parenting support

    Using an integrated Agenda that incorporates

    Teachers & Parents

Barita Education Foundation Enhancement Programme


Enhance the knowledge and instructional skills of Pre- School teachers in:

  • Letter knowledge

  • Word Recognition

  • Phonics

  • Comprehension

  • Penmanship and Writing

Building Fluent Readers


The B.E.F. Teachers lead the guided learning sessions with demonstrations that connect knowledge and application.

  • Classification

  • Seriation

  • Number sense

  • Measurement

Life-long Problem Solving Skills

Parenting Support

Social workers arrange discussions and activities to:

  • Promote parenting awareness

  • Improve parenting skills

  • Encourage participation in school’s activities

The BEF Team

School Selection

  • Need-based

  • Process of Evaluation

  • Weakest schools selected

  • Most vulnerable schools selected

Evidence-based Implementation

Every child is assessed. A programme of instruction is developed in order to:

  • Improve the level of learning for each child.

  • Train the classroom teacher in the most current approaches & strategies in planning, instruction & class management with special emphasis on reading and arithmetic.

  • Each school is allocated one trained teacher who acts as a Mentor Teacher.

  • The Mentor Teachers are supervised by the Programme Coordinator.


  • Students engaged in the learning process

  • Students learning at the pace and at the level required for their age group

  • Teachers empowered with new knowledge & technologies

  • Parents encouraged by the process

  • Community benefits


Best Practices

  • Assessment

  • Training

  • Active Engagement and Supervision by the Board of BEF

  • Signed contracts of agreement between the school and BEF.

  • Consultation with Parents

  • Parents advised of the programme’s implementations


  • Inability of the host teacher to carry on the programme and transfer knowledge after BEF exit.

  • Modified the programme to address these needs.

  • Included a monitoring mechanism.

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • National Engagement

  • Private Sector awareness

  • Private Sector commitment

  • Financial Support

  • Technical Expertise

  • Management Support

Corporate Social Responsibility

In Jamaica we have now come to the point in our development where companies are beginning to understand that CSR is not charity, but rather an investment in their communities which over the long term will redound to them.

CSR in Early Childhood Development the Cornerstone of economic development.

Let’s Make A Difference !!!!!!!!!

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