Big Boost for Primary Education Project In Budget


The Jamaica Basic Education Project, financed jointly by the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will be spending some $185 million in 2010/11 on improving the quality of primary education.
The programme aims to increase reading fluency and foundation math skills in Grades One to Three at selected schools, improve school performance and strengthen public-private partnership. The GoJ component is approximately $400 million and USAID approximately $1.35 billion for an estimated cost of $1.75 billion over the five-year period, September 2009 to September 2010.
The money will be used to assist the Ministry of Education to improve teacher and principal accountability by: developing a handbook to understanding of roles and responsibilities, as outlined in the Accountability Framework; implementing leadership training for Trainers of Trainees of the Regional Education Entities (REEs); supporting REEs in establishing leadership teams and sustainable structures for meeting performance targets at the school level; and supporting REEs in assisting schools to design a School Literacy Development Plan.
In establishing literacy standards for Grades One to Three the Ministry, in collaboration with the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Teacher Training (CETT), will set up a Literacy Advisory Board to recommend a refined set of national standards for literacy; analyze and review existing grade one individual learning profile for alignment with standards and benchmark for first grade reading readiness.
Additionally, assisting the Ministry in producing redesigned grade one Individual Learning Profile Administration Manual and develop a training module (print and electronic) on the use of the learning profile for principals and first grade teachers; developing at least three remedial reading instruction training modules (print and multimedia versions) for grade three.
Also, there will be collaboration with the Jamaica Teaching Council to conduct Trainers of Trainees Workshops in grade level reading instruction of grades 1to 3 teachers; provide teachers of Grades One to Three with reading resource kit for targeted schools, inclusive of interactive CD; and developing Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) materials.
So far a project monitoring unit has been established and consultations held with the Ministry of Education and stakeholders including the Jamaica Teaching Council, National Education Inspectorate, Chef and Deputy Education Officers and Literacy and Numeracy coordinators.

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