Elimination of Shift System on the Agenda


The process of eliminating the shift system from primary and secondary schools has begun.
Many negative reports, both social and educational, have emanated from the implementation of this system. As a result, among the important recommendations in the Task Force on Education Report are the elimination of the shift system, reduction of class sizes, the addition of one year at the primary and secondary levels and elimination of the different types of schools to result in primary and secondary schools only.
In implementing the recommendation for the elimination of the shift system, eight schools were reverted to the full day mode of operation at the beginning of the 2007/08 academic year, reducing the number of schools operating the shift system from 124 to 116.
As set out in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives last week by Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, it is estimated that it will require approximately 30 new schools, in addition to 30 classrooms and other facilities at an estimated cost of US$185 million to remove the 45 secondary schools from the shift system.
To remove the primary level schools from the shift system would require an estimated 22 new schools, plus some 90 classrooms at an approximate cost of US$122 million.
The shift system was introduced to alleviate the problem of overcrowded schools and insufficient school places. This was expected to have been a temporary solution to the problem, but it has remained in the system because the necessary infrastructure has not been provided.

JIS Social