JIS News

Story Highlights

  • President of the Jamaican Council for Adult Education (JACAE), Dr. Adolph Cameron, has said that there needed to be consensus among educators and parents, on what is required to provide quality education for children.
  • Speaking with JIS News at the 'Quality Education' Forum hosted recently by the Jamaica National Commission for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Dr. Cameron said many persons blamed schools and the education system for the under performance of students.
  • Continuing, Dr. Cameron said that in order to improve the quality of education, there should be minimum conditions in place to ensure that the nation's school aged children benefit.

President of the Jamaican Council for Adult Education (JACAE), Dr. Adolph Cameron, has said that there needed to be consensus among educators and parents, on what is required to provide quality education for children.

Speaking with JIS News at the ‘Quality Education’ Forum hosted recently by the Jamaica National Commission for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Dr. Cameron said many persons blamed schools and the education system for the under performance of students.

Instead, he said, “we need to look at our context to determine what quality (education) means and the things we ought to put in place to achieve this quality for our children.”

The JACAE President noted that “education affects all of us”, adding that it was important for Jamaicans to “arrive at a consensus at what those specific things are, that we need to do, to better the situation for our children.”

Continuing, Dr. Cameron said that in order to improve the quality of education, there should be minimum conditions in place to ensure that the nation’s school aged children benefit.

He said caregivers had a valuable role to play in ensuring that their children are healthy and nutritionally sound as they prepare to enter the school system. This, he stressed, would lessen deficiencies in their attention span, thereby improving the child’s academic performance.

The educator also pointed out that another deficiency, which should be addressed with some urgency, was the need to equip Grade One students at the primary level with readiness skills.

Continuing, he remarked that presently, primary school educators were noticing the absence of readiness skills in some children, due to little parental involvement in the early stages of the child’s life.

Jamaica was one of the countries that participated in the UNESCO Dakar Conference in Africa three years ago and was a signatory to the Dakar Declaration that pinpointed six goals to be achieved by 2015. These goals, Dr. Cameron said included expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for vulnerable and disadvantaged children; and ensuring that the needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes.

Whereas the Dakar Declaration broadly identified and listed in its goals, the pressing need for improvement in the educational access and opportunities for young girls and women worldwide, Dr. Cameron said there was a gender reversal within Jamaica.

“In Jamaica and the Caribbean, it will be looked at in another way, to ensuring the better performance of boys,” he remarked.

Dr. Cameron told JIS News that in response to the educational dilemma facing Jamaican male students, “education needs are to be made more attractive to boys. There needs to be more male role models in the classroom.”

He pointed out that male teachers accounted for five per cent of the teaching population at the primary school level and 20 per cent at the secondary school level.

He proposed that one of the means to capture the interest of boys was “to make the classroom environment and teaching less sedate and make the learning process more engaging by making it more vigorous.”