Roundtable Discussions Review Education System


The Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture has embarked on a strategic reform process, which is aimed at restructuring the education sector.
The transformation involves various groups who participate in a series of roundtables to get consensus around a shared vision for education, which should result in action.
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 roundtables would further seek to gain agreement and understanding of the specific roles that each stakeholder group/institution must play in moving education forward.
Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson has expressed satisfaction with the education roundtable discussions held so far with stakeholders across the island putting forward their vision for a quality education system for Jamaica.
Some of the views that were put forward were for one hundred per cent literacy by 2014; more quality professionals in the classroom; graduates should be globally marketable; equal education opportunities for all and free education at all levels.
Concern was also expressed that: children were not being given some of the necessary tools to enhance learning; the curriculum did not sufficiently capture the various abilities of children; and training was out of sync with employers demands.
Asked what were some of the important measures that Government should put in place within the next six to 12 months to achieve these goals, it was suggested that teachers should be held accountable for the performance of students; that more money should be allocated to the sector by the Government; and that teachers should be properly compensated to attract the most qualified persons to the classroom.
Minister Henry-Wilson welcomed the comments and assured that concerns would be dealt with as the Government sought to implement a quality education system that would be the key driver of economic growth.
The results from the roundtable sessions will inform the Prime Minister’s 14-member Education 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.

JIS Social