Those who attended the graduation ceremony facilitated by BIT were the Honorable, Joseph Hamilton, Minister of Labour, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Richard Maughn, Programme Coordinator, Ms. Lavern Thorne, BIT’s Senior Technical Officers, Mr. Leon Greaves, and Mr. Bevon Sheperd, and Lecturer, Dr. Lindon Lashley, and Ms. Kim Fraser Bristol.
Opening remarks were made by Dr. Lashley who congratulated the graduates on their success and also touched a little on the character they need to possess to deliver what they were taught to the children and parents who need their support as childcare practitioners. He further reminded the graduates of the sacrifices made for the programme to be delivered and as such, they must commit themselves to further development.
The project report was done by the Coordinator, Ms. Thorne, who encouraged the graduates to utilize the skills and knowledge acquired to improve the quality of the services they offer to children in their care as well as their parents, and to make their lecturers proud.
Dr. Semple- McBean in her remarks, which was delivered by Ms. Thorne told the graduates that the professional recognition gained from participating in the programme does not limit their practices to an educative teacher level, which has the potential to distance you the graduates from the physical and the emotional care needed by young children. “In the context of early childhood development, referring to you as teachers, is problematic. This is not because knowledge and education should not be valued, it is problematic because referring to you as “teachers”, devalues the art of early care and development, which is integral to your practice. She also mentioned to those gathered at the ceremony, that the graduating batch signal promotion to the class identified in the early childhood community as skilled promoters of the spices of life, aimed to promote children’s spices, that is, their social, physical, intellectual, creative, emotional and spiritual development.
In his charge to the graduates, CEO, Mr. Maughn told the newly graduated childcare practitioners that it is important to follow their passion, take chances, and believe that whatever they set out to do once there is a way, it, must be executed.
“Your journey has now begun, as childcare service providers, your job is not only to provide childcare services but to become nurturers, mentor, and create a friendly environment for our future leaders. See yourselves as ambassadors and put what you were taught into practice to become better each day. The Board of Industrial Training will continue to deliver more of this program with stronger ties between lecturers and the agency, ensuring those who will benefit receive the best training from high-level individuals who are in the Early Childhood Development field, such as Dr. Michelle Semple- Mc Bean.” Mr. Maughn mentioned.
Words of encouragement were also shared by the Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton who congratulated the graduates after completing one of the ministry’s mandates to offer capacity building through the delivery of Technical and Vocational Education by the BIT.
“We have traveled throughout the length and breadth of this country, empowering youth, single parents, school dropouts, and retirees, giving them a chance at self-development, free of cost. I am pleased to see the room full of women who have sacrificed and remained committed. The early childhood development program is a very important course that caters to our children and you the graduates received the best there is to get to where you are today.” The minister noted.
He added that a person can expect to see much more from the Board of Industrial Training since it has changed from being operational only in region four but has reached out to every region in the country.
The program was developed to assist the many childcare practitioners who expressed their desire for knowledge in the field of early childhood development but are hindered from accessing the same due to final constraints since most of the programs in the field bear a high cost to participate. The programme seeks to offer practitioners the opportunity to pursue their desire for knowledge.
The objective of the program is to provide childcare practitioners with the requisite knowledge, skills, disposition, and practices that will enable them to understand the importance of fostering children’s development and supporting their families, and promoting a culture of continuous professional growth in individuals.
According to the Early Childhood Education blog, the history of Early Childhood Development goes as far back as the early 1500s, where the concept of educating children was attributed to Martin Luther (1483-1546). Back then, very few people knew how to read and many were illiterate. Martin Luther believed that education should be universal and made it a point to emphasize that education strengthened the family as well as the community.
Luther believed that children should be educated to read independently so that they could have access to the Bible. This meant that teaching children how to read at an early age would be a strong benefit to society.
(Board of Industrial Training, Public Relations Department).