The St. Elizabeth Early Childhood Resource Centre presented certificates to 21 early childhood teachers and 14 parents, who participated in a one year training programme at the institution, on Thursday (November 12).
In her report at the closing exercise, at the St. Stephen's Anglican Church, Manager of the Centre, Rosetta Hanson, stated that the participants were now better equipped to take on diverse challenges and improve on early childhood education in their respective areas.
"The participants in this parenting education programme are moving on with far more than they came with. They have acquired more knowledge on numerous topics, they have learnt new skills and have improved on others," she said.
She added that the teachers and parents shared their experiences with each other, and that they are better equipped to assist others and themselves.
"I implore you not to close the doors on the knowledge and skills that you have garnered. Open the minds of others to be better parents, and assist their children to be more functional individuals in this global sphere," she said.
Speaking on behalf of the parents in the programme, Thashi Francis, said that they gained valuable lessons and skills in child care, crochet, embroidery, the making of toys and other skills.
"We are now better equipped with more ways to make a living, thus making us independent individuals. This, I am sure, will promote the creation of jobs, resulting in some of us becoming entrepreneurs and our communities and families will benefit," Miss Francis stated.
Early childhood teacher and participant, Erna Black-Neil, said it was motivational and eye opening.
"We are at a launching point in our lives. We are equipped with hands on knowledge to fully effect positive changes in our schools. We will face challenges boldly, learning to take risk and never to be afraid of criticism," she said.
Guest speaker and Regional Literacy Co-ordinator at the Ministry of Education, Ivoline Fletcher, stressed the importance of a firm start in Early Childhood Education and congratulated the Early Childhood Officers who conceived the partnership.
She said that they, obviously, saw the need for the programme, and expressed the hope that other parents will become engaged in the education of their children and other children in their communities.
"This partnership must continue. As you launch out with this concept of parenting, I have every confidence that you will make a breakthrough," she said.