JIS News

Five new education regions are to be established as part of the education modernization process.
Executive Director of the Education Transformation Team, Frank Weeple made the disclosure at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, held at the agency’s head office at 58A Half-Way Tree Road in Kingston.
According to Mr. Weeple, the regional offices that currently exist do not have the kind of autonomy and capacity to deliver the improvements the system needed.
To this end, the aim would be to increase the autonomy at the regional level as well as align them as best as possible with the number of parishes that exist.
Speaking about the holistic approach to be taken, Mr. Weeple said: “We also want to align ourselves in such a way that we can work much more closely with other agencies in the field in terms of social services, health, and other educational agencies.” Mr. Weeple, who was giving a comprehensive update on the status of the transformation process being undertaken in the education sector, pointed out that the “serious problem of educational disadvantage in Jamaica cannot be tackled through educational measures alone.” Noting out that this was the case internationally, he said that those societies that have acknowledged this, had found that there were huge improvements in the system when they took all the elements that supported educational development among disadvantaged groups into consideration.
The new regional agencies, he said, would also be relentlessly focused on the improvement of schools. “They will be structured in such a way that the function of challenging and monitoring schools to become better, to become world class schools, will be right at the heart of what the new regions are about,” the Executive Director said.
To execute this mandate, the regions will be staffed with specialists who can achieve this new vision. In carrying out their duties, the specialists will set targets with the various schools that fall within their regions and will also be monitoring the progress of these institutions. Mr. Weeple explained that there would also be other teaching and learning support specialists who would be in the schools that were performing below standard helping to improve their overall performance.
The implementation of new regions within the sector forms part of the government’s plan to decentralize the operational functions of the Ministry of Education.