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Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Education is collaborating with key stakeholders to prepare students to meet the needs of the Global Logistics Hub
  • The Ministry is revising its curriculum and is also reviewing new and emerging areas
  • Machado complex to be established as a training facility

The Ministry of Education is collaborating with key stakeholders to prepare students to meet the needs of the Global Logistics Hub, which is to be established in time for the opening of the Panama Canal in 2015.

Chief Education Officer, Grace McLean says discussions are currently being held with the HEART Trust/NTA and Caribbean Maritime Institute in this regard.

“Cabinet has already approved for the HEART Trust/NTA and the Overseas Examination Commission to purchase the Machado complex which will be established as a training facility to focus specifically on some those programmes for the logistics hub. The Caribbean Maritime Institute will also be involved in that as well,” Mrs. McLean said.

The Chief Education Officer was speaking at a Jamaica Information Service Think Tank on Wednesday, August 14, at the agency’s Half Way Tree Road offices.

She added that the Ministry is revising its curriculum and is also reviewing new and emerging areas.

“For example, softer areas, such as packaging, merchandising and so on, call centre, contact operations and less capital intensive areas…we have already started to introduce those within our school system. It is important, however, that there is a strategic focus as it relates to the logistic hub and, of course, the Panama Canal, that is intended to open in 2015, so that we focus on the skills that are needed most,” Mrs. McLean said.

“So through that discussion it is expected that once we have fine tuned and analysed how many of each area that will be needed, the Ministry will be identifying and channelling those schools into doing those areas so that the progression can take place,” she added.

She also stressed that whatever measures are undertaken by the Ministry, will have to be done within a particular context.

“Once we’re provided with the overall information, our system is so designed now, especially for the technical and vocational areas, so that the curriculum can be easily developed through the Heart Trust NTA and it can be readily implemented. So in essence, at the upper secondary level, it doesn’t have to take four/five years for the curriculum to be changed, as it is at the lower level.

“So once the areas are required, we will be able to have the curriculum ready and to ensure that our teachers are sufficiently trained and working with the industry to have those areas implemented,” Mrs. McLean said.

The Logistics Hub initiative is being spearheaded by the Government of Jamaica in an effort to position the island as the fourth major node in the global supply and logistics chain. This is intended to enable the country to take advantage of an anticipated increase in maritime activity, consequent on the expansion of the Panama Canal.