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Chairman’s Report March 02 – February 03

A great deal of progress was made during the year to enable Jamaica 2K to be better placed to meet the organisations stated aims and objectives.

Funding from the Department of International Development for Year 2 of the “Training the Trainers” programme focussed on:

• Curriculum development - understanding the issues related to teaching Jamaican Language speakers to gain competence with literacy skills in Standard English.
• Family Learning - exploring options to develop SHARE programmes in Jamaica
• Workplace Learning - with the Post and Telecommunications Department
• ICT - in the community and workplace.

The following exchanges took place:

Dr. Clement Lambert – UWI - Caribbean Languages and Education
Prof Hubert Devonish – UWI - Caribbean Languages
Joan Andrea Hutchinson – Caribbean Languages
Melvah Blake – Jamaica 2K and Workforce Development
Liz Millman - Jamaica 2K Caribbean Languages, FL and Workplace
Teresa Johnson – CEDC SHARE, Family Learning

The first conference was held at Newman College, Birmingham in June 02. The keynote speakers were Dr. Clement Lambert from the University of the West Indies and Prof Gus John. Tony Hendrix also contributed to the event.

The second conference series took place in January / February 03 in London, Manchester and Wolverhampton and the final event was a Press Conference held at the Hilton Hotel in Kingston. All the events were carefully planned and very well received.  Feedback showed that they were felt to be of immense importance in restarting debate in the UK to recognise Caribbean Languages – there was a good article in the UK Education Guardian  4 / 3 / 03 and in the Jamaica Observer to raise the issues faced by Jamaicans in the UK today, The second conference series was supported by range of organisations including:

The University of the West Indies
The University of Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton Ethnic Minority Achievement Service
The Department for International Development Team in Kingston
The Caribbean Council for Adult Education
The Gus John Partnership
Patois Personnel
NIACE – Basic Skills and the Conference Team
South Bank University
The London Language and Learning Unit
Wandsworth Ethnic Minority Achievement and Language Service
City & Islington College
The Jamaican Gleaner
Manchester Adult Education Service
Manchester Ethnic Minority Achievement Service
Manchester City Football Club
First Person – for filming and the multimedia presentation
Learning Logistics – for conference development
Windrush Education and Training Consortium
Logwood Management Consultants

The Wolverhampton event was sponsored by Awards for All
and Advantage West Midlands.

During the past year we sent good wishes to David Nuirhead retiring Jamaican High Commissioner and were delighted that his successor is willing to continue to support our work. Thanks also go to Delores Cooper the Jamaican High Commissions Community Development Officer and Audley Rodreques, the Deputy Jamaican High Commissioner, for his ongoing support for our work.

The local group in Wolverhampton gained funding support from Wolverhampton Race Equality Council and the Black Country LSC to work on the development and delivery of training programmes. This activity took on the name of the “ACKEE Project”. We received enthusiastic support to develop materials from the group of Jamaican teachers who came over to teach locally in Sandwell in 2001.

Work was also undertaken during the year by Liz Millman, to follow up interest generated during the Family Learning and Learning Support training sessions she undertook in Jamaican in February 2002, under the Jamaican All Age Schools Project (JAASP). Teachers and Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture Officers identified the UK’s SHARE project as a possible model for Family Learning development in Jamaica and the University of the First Age as a potential model for learning support in Jamaica. Discussion in the UK with both organisations was successful and Teresa Johnson, national co-ordinator for SHARE, was able to join Liz in February 03 for a research visit to Jamaica. She was able to meet teachers from the JAASP Project and Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture Officers to discuss possibilities and options.

Finally, this is an opportunity to thank all those involved in Jamaica 2K activities during this time and especially to thank Melvah Blake for the hard work and effort that she has given since she took on the role of co-ordinator of our activities in Jamaica.

This year we have also received enormous encouragement from two of the “Laugh Jamaica” team, Tony Hendrix and Joan Andrea Hutchinson. We have asked them to become Honorary Members of the organisation in recognition of the contribution they have made to our work on “Valuing Caribbean Languages”.

We are also continuing to explore ways to progress ICT support for Community Learning Centres in Jamaica. We have been given approx. 200 good quality PCs from the Staffordshire Building Society. Plans are in hand to set up a reception centre in Kingston to prepare them for use.

Stephen Brooks, Chairman


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