Falling Birth Rate Freeing Up Resources to Improve Early Childhood Education


Education Minister, Senator Ruel Reid says Jamaica’s significantly decreasing birthrate has freed up monies from the government’s coffers to better commit to improving early childhood education.

Minister Reid says he welcomes the development, as his government is promoting optimum nutrition, education and stimulation in the first 1000-days of each child’s life.

He was speaking with Nationwide News at the 2018 Partners Forum in New Delhi, India yesterday. The international conference, focused on improving maternal, children and adolescent health and well being, is in its fourth staging.

Minister Reid says research has shown that the first 1000-days of a child’s life, are the most critical. He’s promoting a programme under which children will benefit from what the Minister describes as ‘brain building centres’ which are designed to provide the necessary nutrition, stimulus inducing environment and education during their time at the facilities.

And, Minister Reid says thanks to a decrease in the country’s birthrate and an economy poised for growth, funds will be available for the project.

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The Education Minister also says Jamaica is a pioneer in the area of early childhood development. Minister Reid blames the lack of sufficient early childhood development for many of the challenges some children face later in their school lives.

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Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.

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