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Story Highlights

  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says the Ministry continues to have dialogue with education stakeholders regarding the merger of some primary schools across the island.
  • The plan is to combine smaller, struggling institutions with high-performing ones, in order to maximise resources and improve standards.
  • Minister Thwaites said a final decision has not yet been taken as to the number of institutions that will be affected, noting that the talks continue.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says the Ministry continues to have dialogue with education stakeholders regarding the merger of some primary schools across the island.

The plan is to combine smaller, struggling institutions with high-performing ones, in order to maximise resources and improve standards.

The Education Minister was addressing a region five principals’ conference held on Friday (June 12), at the St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz.

Minister Thwaites said a final decision has not yet been taken as to the number of institutions that will be affected, noting that the talks continue.

“Our situation is…we have 830 primary schools in Jamaica and 220 of those have less than 100 students and yet they are fully commissioned with teachers. The cost of a unit of primary education in those schools is roughly between five and 10 times what it is in a larger school,” he pointed out.

“If you have limited resources, you have to spend it efficiently. If those small schools across Jamaica, at added cost, were uniformly doing very well, we would absorb the cost somehow. But unfortunately, they are not doing very well and in many cases, despite the student-teacher ratio of one to three, one to six, and one to 13…the results are not good,” he said.