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Acting Chief Education Officer at the Ministry of Education (MOE), Clement Radcliffe, has called on Bursars to eliminate the waste of resources, and to ensure that the school plants are managed to the benefit of students.

Delivering the keynote address at the 12th Annual Caribbean Bursars’ Conference, held on November 22, at the Hilton Hotel, in St. James, Mr. Radcliffe said the region is beset by decline in trade, and natural disasters, and bursars need to employ effective management at schools, so that the institutions can, at all times, reflect value for money

“Effective utilisation of that which is provided is an inescapable imperative; effective management of school plants is not only a desirable goal, but an imperative. The countries of the Caribbean, and certainly Jamaica, cannot afford the waste of resources implicit in poor management practices. The school plant is… home for many of our students, and the school environment directly reflects the quality of the education being pursued,” Mr. Radcliffe said.

The Acting Chief Education Officer noted that the Ministry has, over the past two years, implemented a number of strategies aimed at enhancing integrity in the operations of the schools, including the engagement of a Post Audit and Compliance Officer.

“His engagement facilitated capacity building of the Principals and Bursars through extensive training in the current systems and regulations. A manual was also developed and circulated throughout the system. It has not been surprising the favourable reports the Ministry has been enjoying from the Auditor General, and the staff members who contributed to this good assessment must be commended for a job well done,” Mr. Radcliffe said.

He called on bursars to get involved in other areas of the school. “The current efforts to transform the education system provide a range of opportunities to operate strategically in a broad cross-section of areas. These include involvement in non-traditional areas of the school and the use of technology to increase efficiency,” Mr. Radcliffe said.

“Bursars may wish to broaden their focus to mentoring weak students in select subjects, and get involved in the extra curricula life of the school,” he added.             

The three-day conference is being held under the theme: ‘School Business Managers Surviving Today’s Challenges – Meeting Tomorrow’s Needs’.