JIS News

The Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica is (CCCJ) developing an item bank, which is its own storehouse of examination questions and answers.
This is contained in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives earlier this week by Education Minister, Andrew Holness.
With this databank, the Council will be able to draw from graded and certified examination questions to meet the needs of any particular examination period, later replenishing its supplies with contributions from the subject lecturers within the colleges.
When fully stocked, the bank will contain six years supply of items and their solutions and will be ready for use in December 2009. The estimated total cost for the project is U$665, 831.90, inclusive of the purchase and customization of software, hardware and examination items, along with the grading and cataloguing services for these items and solutions. Some U$517, 672.19 is being sought for the project.
Meanwhile, as a means of further expanding access, the community colleges and the Council, with the assistance of the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN), are taking the initial steps to develop their capabilities to offer distance and open education offerings.
A core of teachers, information and communications technology (ICT) professionals and administrators have been trained in the basics of using Moodle, which is an open-source platform to house distance education courses, and the Council intends to explore the development of four distance education courses to be made available in the academic year 2008/09.
The Council has recognized that many students have been performing poorly in the introductory courses to Mathematics, and as a result, will be embarking on a project to develop a methodology for teaching the subject to math-challenged students.
Additionally, the Council will pilot on-line registration with a group of Portmore Community College students during the summer of the current year. This is against the need for greater efficiencies and ease in registration.
During the 2007/08 financial year, the CCCJ concentrated on enhancing the quality of the accountability systems within the community colleges network, broadening access and improving the quality of the learning experience.
The number of students enrolled in the colleges for the current academic year totaled 2, 949 for CCCJ programmes; 1, 949 for other tertiary programmes; and 3, 542 for continuing education programmes.
The CCCJ is charged with supervising and coordinating the work of eight community colleges and multi-disciplinary colleges in Jamaica. The Council, through the network of community colleges, offers two-year associate degrees in Business Studies; Office Administration; Management Information Systems; Hospitality and Tourism Management; Environmental Studies; Electronics Engineering; Library Technical Studies; Clothing and Fashion Studies; Industrial Technology; Information Technology; and the Performing Arts.
It also offers bachelor’s degrees, comprising an additional two years of study after the associate degree level in the following areas: Business Studies; Management Information Systems; Hospitality and Tourism Management; and Environmental Studies.