Education Ministry Embarks On Strategic Reform Process


The Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture has embarked on a strategic reform process, which is aimed at making education the key driver of growth and sustainable development in the country.
This transformation will involve various groups, and as such, Minister Maxine Henry-Wilson will be inviting stakeholders to participate in a series of roundtables to get consensus around a shared vision for education, which should result in action.
Speaking with JIS News, Project Officer, Sharon Wolfe said the roundtables would facilitate the view that “Education is Everybody’s Business”. The format of the roundtables will therefore, aim to achieve a ‘buy in’ from all stakeholders on the way forward for education.
Key stakeholders to participate in the roundtables include the Minister, Minister of State, Permanent Secretary, Ministry staff, the Opposition, the Jamaica Teachers Association, the Civil Service Association, teachers, private sector associations, school Boards, and other bodies such as the Ministry of Finance, HEART/NTA, religious groups, students, parents and community groups.
The results from these sessions will inform the Prime Minister’s Task Force as that group undertakes a thorough review of the education system to enable changes to be effected as early as September this year.
Mrs. Wolfe reported that an initial focus group had met under the auspices of the Ministry and that eight regional roundtables are being organized for major towns across the island over the next three months:
Feb. 12 – Portmore, Portmore HEART AcademyFeb. 20 – Port Antonio, College of Agriculture, Science and Education
Feb. 26 – May Pen, Hotel VersallesFeb. 27 – Kingston, Knutsford Court HotelMarch 4 – Montego Bay, Holiday Inn SunspreeMarch 5 – Kingston, Knutsford Court HotelMarch 11 – Ocho Rios, Almond Tree RestaurantMarch 12 – Mandeville, Golf View Hotel
The March 5 roundtable scheduled for the Knutsford Court Hotel will be dedicated to students, where they will be given an opportunity to voice their concerns and recommend the type of education system they believe to be ideal.
Towards the beginning of April, a final national consultation opened to the general public, will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, where stakeholders from across the island will meet to finalize proposals for submission.
Minister Henry-Wilson has said that the Government was committed to the fact that “Each child can learn.each one must”, and that it was critical that ways be found to engage children in the process of learning. To this end, the Ministry was constantly researching and implementing dramatic interventions to transform the system with record speed.
The general approach to this intervention is facilitative, and is done by engaging groups to get consensus around key issues and by employing group decision-making techniques to get ‘buy-in’ on the way forward, and commitment to action.
According to Minister Henry-Wilson, these were challenging times for all the stakeholders in the education process, but there was no turning back. The Ministry, she said, believed strongly in partnering with stakeholders.
Therefore, the roundtables would further seek to gain agreement and understanding of the specific roles that each stakeholder group/institution must play in moving education forward.
Persons who wish to participate in the sessions will be required to register within a certain time frame, the details of which will be published in the press. Further information on the programme can be obtained on the website address – www.educateja.com.

JIS Social