Career & Education

Boys in Education Week set for April 30

Sunday, April 22, 2018

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The British Council announced on Friday that the second iteration of its Boys In Education Week will be staged April 30 - May 3, 2018, under the theme: 'Supporting a nation of champions'.

According to information from the British Council, Boys In Education Week was developed to coincide with Child Month — observed annually in May — and is grounded in the Trilateral Champions Project it commissioned in partnership with the Jamaica Teaching Council.

“The week of activities seeks to give students more confidence in their ability to contribute responsibly to society while creating a safe space for dialogue and sharing new ideas for teachers and education leaders from Jamaica and the UK,” the organisation said in a release to the media.

This year's event will again focus on our boys, their teachers, parents, and other stakeholders who play a role in their holistic development, the British Council said, adding that the second staging is expected to build on what it describes as an overwhelmingly positive response to the inaugural staging.

Planned activities include a seminar called Empowering Educators, on April 30; another called Empowering Parents, on May 1; a mentorship event tagged Boys Can, on May 2; and a career speed mentorship event for both boys and girls, on May 3.

“Last year we presented an opportunity for our male students (from grades 5-9) to highlight the challenges and opportunities in their school life. Simultaneously, we brought parents, teachers and policy-influencing stakeholders to the table to engage each other in a meaningful way to discuss challenges, opportunities and possible solutions to address boys' learning, motivation and engagement,” British Council country director for Jamaica Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick explained.

“We also aim to address the wider issue of gender equity, with a view to demonstrating how engaging boys contributes to a more egalitarian education system for the advancement of both boys and girls,” she added.

As far as the teaching council is concerned, the underperformance of boys has been well documented island-wide.

“The results of various formal examinations provide the evidence that the education of boys is in a crisis… The question of why boys are underperforming within our school system has been linked to a number of factors including teaching methodology; socio-economic background; lack of communal support from parents and schools, and the structure of the education system insufficiently caters to the needs of young men,” it said in its Creating Equity in Teaching and Learning module.

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