JN Life Insurance Company has underwritten fifty percent of the cost to conduct diagnostic tests for students attending 20 schools located in East Rural St. Andrew. The cheque handover took place at the Louise Bennett Coverly All Age School on September 15.

The diagnostic tests, being conducted by The Mico University College Child Assessment and Research Education (CARE) Centre, started on Monday September 21 and will continue through Friday, September 25.

“It was not a hard decision to assist the education initiative in East Rural St. Andrew.” said Mr. Oliver Tomlinson, General Manager of JN Life Insurance Company, “We want young Jamaicans to be able to achieve at the highest level and these test results will help educators to design appropriate programmes accordingly.”

“I believe that we must use science to tell us where we are going as a people and, when I was told that Mico was willing to collaborate with East Rural St. Andrew to assist in the diagnostics testing, I agreed that JN Life would be a part of this project.”

The diagnostic tests are part of the 3-2-1 Education initiative by the Member of Parliament, currently underway in East Rural St. Andrew.  The goal of the project is to ensure that there is at least one person with a degree per household in the community over the next 20 years.

“We decided to start at this level, because we discovered that some of our students have learning deficiencies” explained Member of Parliament and State Minister Damion Crawford. “On that basis, we want to test all fourth and sixth graders in East Rural St. Andrew to ensure that whatever learning deficiencies are identified, can be addressed by an appropriate intervention programme.”

Minister Crawford informed that the overall cost of the project will be $400,000 with JN Life Insurance providing fifty percent of the cost children.

“We are grateful to JN Life for its support and we hope that after the diagnostic tests are completed we will be able to develop programmes geared towards each child’s weakness and ensure that the educational foundation of the students are of such that they can build on for future studies” he said.

Ms Jodi-Ann Reid of The Mico CARE Centre, said her institution would be conducting the diagnostic tests on more than 300 students across East Rural St. Andrew and explained that The Mico CARE Centre was pleased to be a part the programme, given that it was designed to assist children who may have learning deficiencies.

“Our field assessments will be conducted to identify the specific areas in which each student has been experiencing challenges,” she explained. “We will offer workable solutions for improvement; as well as, referrals for placement in other institutions and allow these children to learn, grow and recognize their full potential.”

In expressing his support for the diagnostic tests, Principal of the Louise Bennett-Coverly All-Age School, Mr. Wayne Mullings said the results would point to the literacy needs of the students.
“We welcome the involvement of The Mico CARE Centre because this initiative will help to improve literacy across East Rural St. Andrew and I am grateful for the contribution of JN Life which will greatly assist in the education of our children.”