The Maria Holder Memorial Trust is partnering with the Higher Education Development Unit (HEDU) of the Education Ministry and Wheelock College of Boston once again for an expanded programme for teachers.

This is an exemplary public private partnership that provides invaluable support for Early Childhood Education in Barbados.

As Barbados observes Education Month, a new cohort of 25 teachers started the programme for the Post Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education on Monday, October 12, at HEDU???s office on Government Hill.

This is the second cohort of students in the programme with Wheelock College; the first was in 2013.??The expanded programme includes the postgraduate certificate, as well as a survey of nursery school children to determine their readiness for entry into primary school.

Another dimension is the practicum, where teachers will travel to Boston for 10 days in the summer of 2016. All three components of this project are fully sponsored by The Maria Holder Memorial Trust. The survey, to be administered in at least 69 primary schools, is a new component.

The Higher Education Development Unit has indicated that the survey will be done using an Early Development Instrument, which has been tested around the world in early childhood development studies. It will be adapted for the Barbadian context, and experts from McMaster University in Canada will provide training in the use and administration of the instrument.

It is expected that graduate teachers from last year???s cohort will remain engaged and will be used as part of this research component by assisting with the data collection and data entry.??McMaster University will be responsible for the survey assessment and report preparation and will present its findings to the Ministry and other stakeholders.

The Maria Holder Memorial Trust was founded by Christopher Holder and Chesterfield Brewster, in memory of Christopher Holder???s mother, Maria Holder. The Trust works in the areas of Education, Health, Poverty Alleviation, Culture and Disaster Relief and its target groups are children, the youth, the elderly and those in vulnerable or difficult circumstances.

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