MONTEGO BAY — Education Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Ministry is moving to address the problem of failing schools, noting that such institutions should not exist.
Mr. Holness, who was addressing the Ministry's Region Six Back-to-School Conference in St. Ann on Tuesday August 9, said that for far too long, generations of students have been allowed to pass through school without even attaining literacy skills, and the situation will not be allowed to continue.
He stated that the Ministry was entering a new era where these failing institutions will be addressed in a serious way.
“Let me put everybody on notice; a failing school does not have a right to exist. When the home fails, the school must not fail and many of our schools are failing and I am not prepared to allow that to continue,” he told the school board chairmen and principals in attendance.
“I believe that the law has to be changed to enable the central ministry to intervene in schools that are failing in a direct and deliberate way to rescue those schools and to rescue the future of the generations that are passing through those schools,” he added.
The Education Minister informed that the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) was carrying out assessments of schools, with 150 completed so far. He warned the school leaders to prepare for public criticism as the recommendation is for the inspection reports to be publicised.
In the meantime, he is advising school leaders to make the necessary adjustments so as to achieve the best results.
“The school is not the concrete walls but it is the leadership and governance that comes together to deliver the service of education, and if the leadership and governance is not delivering, then it must be changed,” he stated.
The two-day conference is being held at the Gran Bahia Principe Hotel in Runaway Bay under the theme: 'Strengthening Schools Through Transformation'.
By ALDEEN CAMPBELL, JIS Reporter