The British Council in partnership with Victoria Mutual Foundation Limited and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI), will be delivering a three-year Social Enterprise in Secondary Schools Programme that will be launched on March 12, 2018, at the Jamaica Pegasus.
Six secondary schools – St. Elizabeth Technical High School, Montego Bay High School, Kingston Technical High School, Charlie Smith High School, Greater Portmore High School, and Denbigh High – have been selected to participate in the pilot programme which 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 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.
Country Director of the British Council, Olayinka Jacobs Bonnick, is very pleased with the partnership and the school programme, sharing that, “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.”
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 operationalize Victoria Mutual’s commitment to encouraging all team members to volunteer and to facilitate their involvement in meaningful programmes.”
The programme will train four teachers from each selected school, in grades 7-9, in the social enterprise concepts, approaches and interactive techniques. This knowledge will then be cascaded to over 300 students in each school and will include activities such as field trips and setting up an actual social enterprise with seed funding. As a result, students will be taught to develop an awareness and understanding of how starting their own business can help to address social problems and offer practical experiences in planning and setting up their own social enterprise.