Consultation on Proposed National School Board Association Held in Kingston

The first consultation on the proposed National School Board Association (NSBA), which will provide a common forum for the effective management of schools, was held yesterday (March 1) in Kingston.The session, held at the Altamont Court Hotel, was organized by the Education Transformation Team in conjunction with the National Council on Education.
Communications Director for the Education Transformation Team, Sharon Wolfe, explained that the NSBA was part of the new model of governance being proposed for the education system, which would see schools having greater autonomy.
“Evidence strongly suggests that greater autonomy results in higher motivation from staff and students, better community involvement and improved standards and quality,” she said, noting that, “what this really about is empowering schools and communities to meet needs better, focus on school improvement and target limited resources more efficiently”.
According to Mrs. Wolfe good leadership was the main factor in school improvement and so the roles of the school board of management and chairman, would be a critical part of the process.
The NSBA came out of the recommendations of the Task Force on Educational Reform, which was convened to prepare and present an action plan for the transformation of the country’s education system.
Recommended was a new model, in which the operations of the Ministry of Education and Youth will be decentralized to the regions and the Ministry would be in charge of policy making and monitoring. The implementation of the NSBA is one way of ensuring that school boards are represented on a national level.
“The Task Force report made approximately 133 recommendations to improve our education system. The main aims of the recommendations spoke to creating a world class education system and it spoke about the raising of standards for all to enable access and equity, and to produce at the end of the day, a disciplined, ethical and culturally aware Jamaican citizen,” said Mrs. Wolfe.
Among the proposed objectives of the NSBA, is to provide a common forum for boards of management to advocate for change in respect of school management issues; strengthen boards of management through the sharing of best practices as well as resources; strengthen teaching/learning, governance and management support systems; establish problem solving/decision making linkages at the local and national levels; and provide an avenue for the dissemination of information critical to school operation and programme delivery.
The body will comprise a national executive made up of five representatives from each regional chapter, including the chairman, secretary and treasurer. The regional chapters will be open to all appointed board members in each region. The membership of the board will serve for two years. Consultations on the proposed formation NSBA will take place in the other regions across the island.

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