JIS News

The Education sector is benefiting from the continued expansion of the Primary Education Support Project (PSEP), with the training of 12,000 teachers in all schools and all grades (Grade 1-6) islandwide, to use the revised primary curriculum (RPC).
According to a Ministry Paper that was tabled in the House of Representatives last week, by Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, the project was implemented in 2001 as a means of improving performance, equity and access, particularly at the primary level.
The project was designed for activities to take place under three articulated components: quality assurance, institutional development and civil works.
The quality assurance activities would impact delivery of education; institutional development activities, which would impact the management of the delivery of education; and the civil works or infrastructure works would improve access to education with the construction of 5,145 school spaces.
Major achievements under the quality assurance component of the PESP are: the training of Curriculum Implementation Teams (CITs) to support on-going professional development in schools, which is 94 per cent complete; the revision of the Teachers’ College primary curriculum, in keeping with the RPC; and the drafting of the national standards for the RPC. Subject standards are being developed and teaching standards are to be done. These are scheduled for completion in September 2008.
Additionally, over 12,000 teachers have been trained in the use of continuous assessment; some 856 School Based Assessment (SBA) co-ordinators trained island-wide, with at least one in each school; assessment training manual (Grades 1-6) and video developed and distributed to schools; alignment of the National Assessment Programme (NAP) with the RPC completed for Grades 3, 4 & 6; revision of the Grade One Readiness Inventory to the Grade One Individual Learning Profile, which will be introduced in all schools in September 2008; while literacy programmes have been designed to develop early literacy skills, and approximately 70 per cent of teachers have been trained to deliver the programme.
Meanwhile, a mentorship programme for beginning teachers has also been implemented in over 500 primary schools islandwide and the programme has been adopted for secondary schools as well. More than 55 teachers’ college lecturers have been awarded fellowships to pursue masters and doctoral studies, designed to build capacity in the colleges.
Under the Institutional Development component of the PESP, approximately 750 principals have been trained in a Management & Leadership Diploma Programme certified by the Mount St. Vincent University in Canada. The activity has being completed and the programme institutionalized at St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College.
In addition, 334 staff members received long-term and short-term fellowships to build capacity; and interventions will be implemented through Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to improve attendance in 100 school communities across the island.
With regards to civil works, construction activities are to be undertaken in 12 primary schools across Jamaica, while three schools have been practically completed. An extension to two schools providing an additional 420 places should be completed in August, 2008 while other schools are at various stages of the tender process.

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