JIS News

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  • The Ministry of Education is seeking money to assist in the upgrading of science laboratories and the provision of micro-science kits for secondary and primary schools across the island.
  • This move is consistent with the Ministry’s plans to fully and formally integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) into all aspects of the education system.
  • It also forms part of the Government’s strategic response to the need for more highly qualified technology graduates for the job market.

The Ministry of Education is seeking money to assist in the upgrading of science laboratories and the provision of micro-science kits for secondary and primary schools across the island.

This move is consistent with the Ministry’s plans to fully and formally integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) into all aspects of the education system.

It also forms part of the Government’s strategic response to the need for more highly qualified technology graduates for the job market.

“We are now seeking funding and we have good prospects of receiving  millions of  dollars, because our aim is to provide all primary schools with science kits and also to ensure that by 2017, every high school in Jamaica has at least one well equipped and serviceable science laboratory,” said Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites.

The Minister was speaking on September 23, at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of the West Indies, Mona, and Bio-Tech R&D Institute, at the university’s campus in St. Andrew.

The signatories have agreed to collaborate to enhance innovation in scientific research and development.

Rev. Thwaites informed that the Ministry has just completed an audit of science education facilities needed in public schools islandwide, adding that “we have to create an interest in STEMI from an early age.”

He said the recent improvements in Mathematics in the 2014 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination, “provide us with a hook as a nation, because it is through competence in Mathematics that many students are directed more and more towards taking science subjects.”

There was a 13 per cent increase in passes in the core subject of Mathematics, which recorded the largest improvement overall, moving from 42 per cent last year to 56 per cent this year.

The Minister said the Government’s plan to transform the St. Elizabeth-based Sydney Pagon High School into a model institution that focuses on the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics is on track.

He informed that the cohort of grade seven students attending the school is being exposed in a “unique and intense” way to a STEMI curriculum, with particular emphasis on agricultural science.

Rev. Thwaites added that it is the Ministry’s aim to replicate this model in other schools.