Lifelong learning

Our vision: Quality education for all children

UNICEF Jamaica/2019/Allison Brown


While Jamaica has made significant gains to promote access, quality, relevance and equity in education, major gaps remain. Most children have access to publicly-funded education, but for many of them the effects of poverty lead to absence, lack of progress, chronic under-performance and, in some cases, the failure to complete their education.

This is particularly true for boys, and for schools in low-income communities in rural and urban areas. Boys living in these communities are more likely to drop out of school and become at-risk, unattached youth. The education sector also continues to be challenged in providing a quality education for all children.



Our Lifelong Learning programme has three goals, which aim to improve education and development outcomes and create more equitable and inclusive learning environments for boys and girls, including in emergencies.

  1. Strengthen national frameworks, policies, plans and standards to increase access to high-quality, equitable, inclusive and holistic early childhood development (ECD), learning and care environments for girls and boys aged 0-8 years and their families.
  2. Improve the capacity of national and sub-national entities in education planning, the collection and use of data, system monitoring and budgeting.
  3. Strengthen the organizational capacity of key stakeholders to design and deliver equitable, inclusive and relevant education services, transitioning strategies and protective learning environments.

We work with various partners on different strategies to achieve these goals. Examples include:

Photograph of UNICEF Jamaica Operations Manager Audrey Tulloch on Play Day 2018 with schoolchildren at a school in Kingston.

Promotion of Child-Friendly Schools (CFS): UNICEF’s flagship effort is the piloting of the School-Wide Positive Behaviour Intervention and Support (SWPBIS) framework, which aims to reduce violence by teaching positive values, recognizing children for good behaviour and promoting non-violent discipline. SWPBIS operates on three tiers – in tier one, efforts are school-wide and aim to support all students; tiers 2 and 3 target smaller groups of children who need closer and more structured support. UNICEF is also supporting the development of an online course for principals to learn more about CFS and best practices for making schools child-friendly.

Photograph of a male student outside Hazard Primary School in Clarendon, Jamaica

Safer Journeys to and from School: UNICEF has been addressing the challenge of road safety in Jamaica, by collecting data to influence policy and programming, raising public awareness about child road safety, conducting road safety activities in and after school and making strategic infrastructural upgrades to school crossing areas.

Photograph of children having fun and learning at the same time with Edusport, taught by Fight for Peace in Parade Gardens, Kingston.

Games-based learning and inclusive sports for development: Using games to teach children basic literacy and numeracy, as well as key life skills such as teamwork and communication, through EduSport – a programme that reaches close to 25,000 students in the rural parishes of St. Elizabeth and Manchester, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. EduSport is expanding its reach into volatile urban communities, where the same child-centred methodology is used to support interventions focused on helping children recover from the impact of violence.

Our implementing partners 2017-2021


Breds Foundation
Partner Type: NGO
Breds is a community-based organisation to foster community empowerment through programs designed to enhance the education, vocational training, recreation and livelihoods of Treasure Beach community members and to ensure the sustainability of the environment that nurtures the community. 

Early Childhood Commission 
Partner type: Government
The ECC provides an integrated and coordinated delivery of high-quality early childhood programmes and services, which provide equity and access for children zero to eight years within healthy, safe and nurturing environments.

Fight for Peace
Partner Type: NGO
Fight for Peace uses combat sports and psychosocial support, brings together a network of community-based organisations and multi-sector stakeholders to collaborate on youth violence reduction programming in key hot spot communities. 

Food for the Poor
Partner Type: NGO
Food for The Poor works to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children through emergency relief aid and programmes in the areas of housing, food, medical, water, sanitation, education, agriculture, outreach and micro-enterprise.

JN Foundation
Partner type: Government
The JN Foundation works with internal and external partners to identify, develop and provide technical and financial support to projects and programmes that focus on issues relating to rural development, health, housing, education, youth, community, crime and safety.

Ministry of Education, Youth and Information 
Partner Type: Government
The Ministry of Education's mandate is to provide quality care and education in an innovative, inclusive and enabling environment thereby creating socially conscious and productive Jamaicans. 
National College for Educational Leadership
Partner type: Government
The NCEL develop and supports educational leaders to create and sustain effective schools, thereby contributing to national development. 
Rockhouse Foundation 

Partner type: Government
The Rockhouse Foundation is devoted to transforming the places Jamaican children learn and supporting the great people who teach them.

Special Olympics
Partner Type: NGO
Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year.