The British Council, on Tuesday, launched phase two of the Social Enterprise in Secondary Schools programme adding eight new schools to the six that took part in the pilot phase earlier this year.
The three-year programme, a partnership with Victoria Mutual Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, aims to increase student’s knowledge of social innovation and entrepreneurship. Using the British Council’s Social Enterprise in Schools Resource Pack, which also incorporates the British Council core skills, it is expected that this programme will help to address the gap in global skills development which is critical to meeting the needs of students in the 21st century in a globalised economy. In addition to the six British Council core skills – Critical thinking and Problem Solving, Collaboration and Communication, Creativity and Imagination, Citizenship, Digital Literacy, and Student Leadership – the programme will also include financial literacy as the 7th core skill.
Keynote speaker at the event, The Hon. Floyd Green, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, lauded the partnership and its support of the development of young people. “I would like to thank the British Council for partnerships like this which support the drive to reform our secondary school education. This programme is part of a much bigger mission and vision, which ties into what the Ministry hopes to achieve in relation to the type of students we produce at the end of the secondary school journey. As such, I would like to congratulate the Victoria Mutual Foundation for coming on board. Together we have been driving the process of ensuring that we introduce social entrepreneurship in our schools”.
The eight new schools – Cumberland High, Holland High, Spot Valley High, Glenmuir High, Herbert Morrison Technical, Guy’s Hill High, St. Jago High, and Westwood High – were present at the event, which doubled as a handing-over ceremony for seed-funding from Victoria Mutual Foundation, for the first six schools to start their respective social enterprises.
Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick, Country Director at the British Council encouraged the students to take full advantage of the opportunity to make the changes they want to see in their own lives. “You can all be successful entrepreneurs. The fantastic thing about being a social entrepreneur is that you also positively impact your community and by extension your country. The questions you need to ask yourself are, What is the change I want to see in my home? In my school? What really matters to me? These are the questions that will help you to think about how you can bring about change in your environment as you embark on your journey in this pioneering programme.”
Damion Campbell, Social Enterprise and Youth Engagement Programme Manager at the British Council gave an overview of the programme and hailed the social enterprises and other agencies for their support in the success of the pilot phase. “The Social Enterprise in Secondary Schools programme affords a large population of our young people the opportunity to garner a more global outlook on the prospects of their lives as they transition through high school, while creating change in them and for those around them. We could not have made it this far without the support of the social enterprises and other agencies that travelled with us across the island to the schools to raise awareness around social enterprises. A special thank you to EDUCATOURS JA, Link Your Purpose, 360ReCycle, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Youth Can Do IT, Bartley's All In Wood and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries. Last but not least, a special thank you to the Victoria Mutual Foundation for their commitment to the development of young Jamaicans”.
The launch of phase two of the programme will be complemented by the Social Enterprise in Secondary Schools competition, which will be open to all secondary schools, giving more schools the opportunity to be a part of the programme.