Jamaica's Education Ministry Launches ‘Yard to Yard Find The Child’ Initiative to Locate Unaccounted Students

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of Education and Youth will be rolling out its ‘Yard to Yard Find the Child’ Initiative, which is a national call to action to identify, locate and re-engage students .

faywillEducation Minister Fayval Williams in the House of Representatives on January 11th. (JIS photo)Education Minister Fayval Williams said the initiative will run for three months from January to March 31, 2022.

“Through this initiative, 580 youth workers under the HOPE program and 108 social workers will be engaged to complement the school-based teams at 478 public schools island-wide, to go yard to yard to find our students and to re-engage them with their schools, so that they can continue their learning,” she said in the House of Representatives.

Williams added that a family connect app is being developed as a tool to support the data collection and reporting processes to inform evidence-based interventions.

All public schools are now engaged in the reverification of unaccounted students.

“The Ministry is currently in the process of exporting data of over 15,000 unaccounted students submitted by 294 schools to the family Connect app and we will begin to work with these families immediately,” Minister Williams told the House.

“We will be taking an inter-ministerial approach to respond to the needs of these targeted families.”

The data gathered during the period January 3-7, 2022 showed that 252,216 or 60 percent of students in the public school system reported to school via one or more of the learning modalities available – face-to-face, online, learning kit, or the audio-visual platforms.

They participated in orientation activities, psychosocial and empowerment sessions, assessment, and other learning activities on a rotational basis.

“The data that we have collected suggests that roughly 40 percent of students did not access any of the learning modalities available for the first week of school. We are expecting to see this number decline significantly as more of our students return to the face-to-face in the weeks ahead,” the Education Minister said.