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Ministerials Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit
Reports
Date:  6/21/2011 
Poverty Reduction Empowerment Programme

The Poverty Reduction Empowerment Programme represents an improvement of the existing Welfare to Work Programme. It is part of the overall empowerment programme offered in the treatment model to recipients of National Assistance and those persons at risk. Clients are offered skills training opportunities to equip themselves for the world of work. Personal development training is also part of the programme. It is based on the philosophy that persons can earn their way out of poverty.

The scaled-up version of the programme will include job placements and work experience as well as psycho-social support. It will also be an integral part of the ISEE Bridge Programme.
Paragraphs: 38 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Promotion of Continuous Training Programmes in Conjunction with Workers' Representatives and the Private Sector to enable Workers to respond to the Demands of the Labour Market.

The Ministry of Labour through its Barbados Vocational Training Board continues to consult with employers in industry in the structuring of training programmes to facilitate the moulding of a graduate that can adequately respond to the demands of employers as they enter the labour market. In addition, the Board continues to promote apprenticeship training where training is delivered at the employers' workplace. Other areas of collaboration with both the private sector and workers' representatives include:
- development of curricula;
- establishment of technical committees;
- membership on the Board of Directors of the Barbados Vocational Training Board.
Paragraphs: 38 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Education

The Government of Barbados continues to place considerable emphasis on human and social capital development through significant investments in education and related services. The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, in collaboration with educational institutions at all levels, strive to provide conducive learning environments to ensure the inculcation of appropriate knowledge, skills, and
competencies among all learners. Major areas of focus are the expansion of Early Childhood Education, the integration of ICT in education, the enhancement of the quality of education at the primary and secondary levels and expansion of access to tertiary education.

Social Development Priorities
Expansion of Nursery Education

The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development continues to place a high priority on the provision of high quality pre-primary education for all children at the Early Childhood Education level. Currently, there are eight public nursery schools that cater to students in this age group. Four of these pre-primary schools were established in the ECE Expansion Project which was started in 2005. In addition, pre-primary education is offered in all public primary schools as well. While the Government of
Barbados provides the general financing of this expansion programme, the MEHR has established a partnership with the Maria Holder Foundation to facilitate the financing of the construction and establishment of three new Nursery schools in 2011-2012 period.
Primary School Textbook Scheme
In keeping with the Government's pledge to introduce a Text Book Scheme for primary schools, the MEHR commenced the phased procurement and distribution of text books to all primary schools. The goal is to provide text books in the core subject areas of the national curriculum. To date, all public primary schools have been issued with text books to cover the curriculum in Language Arts and Mathematics. The process is ongoing with text books in the area of science being distributed in the current phase. However, the Ministry is aware that approximately 10% of the primary school population experience serious challenges in acquiring the requisite texts and workbooks which parents are required to purchase for their wards. To ensure that this vulnerable group is not disadvantaged in anyway, the Ministry has introduced a programme to cater to the needs of those most in need of assistance with the acquisition of workbooks. The Ministry has included in its 2011-2012 budget the sum of $500 000 to facilitate this programme. This policy was articulated by the Minister of Finance in the 2010 Budget Statement. The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, in collaboration with the public primary schools, will institute a mechanism to effectively identify and administer this new policy. It is also anticipated that the Inter-Ministry Task Force to monitor and strengthen the Social Safety net will provide another medium through which the Government will be able to provide short and long term assistance to these and other vulnerable groups.

Alternative Education Day School

The existing out-of school suspension facility at the Edna Nicholls Centre was established in 1998 to provide short-term intervention and remediation strategies for at-risk and deviant students. In recent years, there has emerged a growing trend of students who have developed very dysfunctional behaviours that significantly challenge regular schools and that require more long-term intervention and rehabilitation approaches. In some instances, there are students of compulsory school attendance age who are either
expelled from school or by virtue of the deviant behaviours that they display cannot be retained in the regular school setting.

Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development has embarked on an initiative to establish an Alternative Education Day School for "at-risk" students. The programme is intended for students between ages 10 and 16. This institution will offer an alternative curriculum which will be based on the national curriculum. The emphasis in the programme will be to teach students the types of skills they need to become productive members of society while engaging in meaningful life practices.

The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development is expecting to renovate the old Erdiston Primary School at a cost of approximately $1.8 million to establish this facility.

Psychological Assistance programme

The MEHR continues to provide psychological interventions for various categories of students. Three consultant psychologists and two psychiatrists have engaged by the Ministry of Education to provide services under the Psychological Assistance Programme.


YDS/Sandy Lane/MEHR Primary School Counselling Programme

The MEHR has also embarked on a tri-partite arrangement to provide counselling services to students in primary schools. Five counsellors have been provided through the public-private partnership programme which is currently available in 19 primary schools. Officers of the Ministry have monitored the provision of counselling services and worked collaboratively with the counsellors to manage the cases referred to them. Two hundred and forty three (243) students were seen by the counsellors in the period 2010-2011 for counselling purposes.
Paragraphs: 36 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

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