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  • Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Elaine Foster-Allen, says greater priority is being placed on quality of primary level education..
  • “Quality, as you know, spreads from teacher quality, the teacher’s ability in terms of content, in terms of their ability to teach well and make best judgements in terms of assessments,”
  • This is in keeping with the Government’s strategic priorities for 2013/2014, which is focussed on improving educational outcomes.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Elaine Foster-Allen, says while access to primary education has grown exponentially over the decades, greater priority is being placed on quality.

This is in keeping with the Government’s strategic priorities for 2013/2014, which is focussed on improving educational outcomes.

“It is our intention to ensure that we get the quality right even as we are top of the class where access is concerned,” Mrs. Foster-Allen said, noting that in the area of access, Jamaica is ranked among the top six in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

The Permanent Secretary, who was addressing a forum on primary education on October 10, at the Jones Town Primary School in Kingston, said that schools must be equipped with teachers, who are adequately trained to address the educational needs of learners.

“Quality, as you know, spreads from teacher quality, the teacher’s ability in terms of content, in terms of their ability to teach well and make best judgements in terms of assessments,” she said, noting that adequate facilities and services are also vital in attaining the highest outcome in the education sector.

“Quality also deals with the leadership of our institutions as well as the support services that we put in place for our children,” she added.

The special forum on primary education represents part of the Ministry’s contribution to the centenary celebrations of the institution.

The event, which targeted parents, teachers and the wider community, featured interactive presentations on topics such as parenting, children with special needs, nutrition, the new curriculum and educating boys.

Over the decades, the Jones Town Primary School has acquired a well-deserved reputation for being exceptional in preparing students for placement in traditional high schools.

This reputation was at its peak in 1972, when enrolment rose to 1,650 students. This led to Jones Town Primary becoming the first school to be placed on the shift system by the Ministry of Education.

Currently, the institution caters to approximately 300 students, and has 13 teachers and two guidance counsellors.