Education Officers Urged To Be Receptive To Change

Photo: Donald Delahaye Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites (right), in conversation with President of the Jamaica Association of Education Officers, Ms. Patricia Perry, after delivering an address to education officers at the Association’s half yearly meeting, held on Friday, January 29, at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has urged education officers to be open to change, in order to effect improvement in the education sector.
  • The Minister was delivering an address at the half yearly meeting of the Jamaica Association of Education Officers, at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, on January 29.
  • Rev. Thwaites argued that there are challenges in the process of change.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has urged education officers to be open to change, in order to effect improvement in the education sector.

The Minister was delivering an address at the half yearly meeting of the Jamaica Association of Education Officers, at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, on January 29.

Rev. Thwaites argued that there are challenges in the  process of change. “You have to go to the schools that you are in charge of, you have to carry out the elements of the education portfolio with which you are tasked, and to keep going is work enough, but at the same time, we are always called upon to change (the way we are doing things,” he told the members, which represented the Ministry’s six regions.

He said educators, as well as education officers, must avoid a sense of rigidity and discover ways of effecting change from within the system.

“There is a rigidity of function and we need to break that mold…we need to really rethink what we do in order to achieve some of the objectives that we have outlined as being critical,” Rev. Thwaites said.

He pointed out that the Ministry is now armed with more data, through the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) and within the School Improvement Plans, which has analytical function critical to improvement, which should be utilised by the officers.

Rev. Thwaites further expressed appreciation to the members of the Jamaica Association of Education Officers for their hard work, even as he encouraged radical change.

“The role of the Education Officer is a most significant one, because while the principal is responsible for instruction and for financial management…you are the involved voice or persona from a distance, withdrawn from, but nonetheless integrated into the school communities that allow for the monitoring and the advocacy that will make the School Improvement Plans work,” he said.

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