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Regional Director in the Ministry of Education’s Region 5, Nadine Leachman, has called for greater focus on research to drive change in the education system.

She argued that a culture of research is essential in enriching learning, raising standards and improving the overall quality in schools.

“Research must not only be a requirement to obtain a degree, it must…become a powerful tool to drive a transformation of our practice as educators, the education system, and ultimately Jamaica,” Ms. Leachman stated.

She was delivering the keynote address at the John Amos Comenius Inaugural Research Day on Tuesday, April 30, at the Bethlehem Moravian College in Malvern, St. Elizabeth.

Ms. Leachman, who was representing Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, said there is a need for quality teachers, who will drive the culture of research in the nation’s schools.

“We need teachers,” she said, “who are more captivated by the need to touch a life than by the need to hit the road at the sound of dismissal bell.”

The Regional Director commended the educators in attendance, for their decision to choose the vocation of teaching over all others.

“Because of you, young Jamaicans will go to bed tonight able to dream about a future limited only by their imaginations. Your desire to become a teacher will safeguard a generation of Jamaican students,” she stated.

She noted that the teachers will ensure that the students of today become authors of their own destiny, while simultaneously, rewriting the future of the country.

John Amos Comenius, in whose honour the research day is named, is known as the father of modern education. He is credited with introducing pictorial textbooks; applying effective teaching based on the natural gradual growth from simple to more comprehensive concepts; supported lifelong learning and development of logical thinking; and was a proponent of equal opportunity for impoverished children.

He also opened doors to education for women and made instruction universal and practical.

A native of Moravia, Habsburg (Czech Republic), he was born on March 28, 1592 and died on November 15, 1670.

By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter