British Council, VM Foundation to launch social enterprise programme in schools

The Sunday Observer
March 11, 2018
The British Council in partnership with Victoria Mutual Foundation Limited and the Ministry of Education is expected tomorrow to launch a three-year programme designed to help address the skills gap among school leavers.
Called Social Enterprise in Secondary Schools, the programme is based in social innovation and entrepreneurship and will feature financial literacy as well as six core skills critical to the 21st century globalised economy – critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and communication, creativity and imagination, citizenship, digital literacy, and student leadership.
Six secondary schools – St Elizabeth Technical, Montego Bay, Kingston Technical, Charlie Smith, Greater Portmore, and Denbigh – have been selected to participate in the pilot programme.
Four teachers across grades 7-9 from each school will be trained in social enterprise concepts, approaches and interactive techniques. The knowledge will then be transferred to over 300 students in each school through activities such as field trips and setting up an actual social enterprise with seed funding.
“This is the flagship programme for our Youth and Social Enterprise portfolio, but it’s also a very important opportunity for us to move towards a common future together, as we support teachers and young people, both in Jamaica and the UK, to gain the 21st century skills necessary to excel in an interconnected world,” country director of the British Council Olayinka Jacobs Bonnick has said.
The programme is being funded jointly by Victoria Mutual Foundation Limited, whose chairman, Courtney Campbell, echoed the organisations’ commitment to improving the quality of life of Jamaicans.
“The Victoria Mutual Foundation is pleased to be a part of this innovative and timely project as we see this as critical to the fulfilling our mission of improving the quality of the lives of Jamaicans through financial empowerment. The project also allows us the opportunity to operationalise Victoria Mutual’s commitment to encourage all team members to volunteer and to facilitate their involvement in meaningful programmes,” he said.

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