- The activity must not be used to create confusion
- Educators should also see success when they “help the weakest” in the system
- Rev. Thwaites called on parents to play their part in ensuring that children focus on what is being taught in school
Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has called for caution in the ranking of schools, especially when the institutions are assessed solely on their performance in traditional subject areas.
The Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at the Alpart Community Council Back to School ceremony on August 15, in Nain, St. Elizabeth, noted that many students have been doing well in technical and vocational training and the schools that they attend must receive ranking in any thorough system of grading.
Rev. Thwaites said that while he would not question the sincerity of the persons behind the recent ranking of schools, the activity must not be used to create confusion. “We must not use ranking in order to prejudice; and putting some schools at the bottom of the pile doesn’t help them to lift up,” the Minister said.
He said educators should also see success when they “help the weakest” in the system.
“Your success is not getting the brightest ones and making them gwaan through, that is not success. The success in education and in all Jamaica and the success I believe that your Community Council stands for is to take the weakest, those in need and bring them to something higher. This is the way that we have to organise all public policy. This is the way we have to organise the philosophy of our nation,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that there is nothing wrong in recognising and celebrating success but “the main burden of our expenditure, the main effort of our minds and hearts must be towards those who need to come up to that level, or to the highest level that they can achieve.”
Rev. Thwaites called on parents to play their part in ensuring that children focus on what is being taught in school. He also added that the teachers cannot only give special attention to the brightest in their class as the education budget is made available for equity and quality for all.