Key Initiatives for Education Outlined at National Planning Summit General Assembly


Several new initiatives are to be put in place to improve the delivery of education. Details of these initiatives were outlined recently by the National Planning Summit Expert Team headed by Minister of Education, Andrew Holness.
The areas include the establishment of a National Education Inspectorate (NEI); National Education Trust and a National Parenting Support Commission.
The recent National Planning Summit General Assembly was convened by the Programme Management Office (PMO) in the Office of the Prime Minister. The summit brought together expert teams of Government and private sector planners who gave reports on achievements in the areas of job creation, tax reform, debt reduction, investment promotion, education and training, crime and violence, governance and bureaucracy and development approvals.
The Expert Team on Education, had valuable input from the private sector as President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Milton Samuda and CEO of Red Stripe, Mark McKenzie, gave their perspectives, as employers, to the deliberations of the team.
This is a part of the “fresh new” approach that Government has been taking to drive the implementation of the National Planning Summit (NPS) initiatives in an effort to spur economic growth and development.
The National Education Inspectorate (NEI) is expected to bring greater accountability of the education system by providing a rigorous, independent evaluation of standards and quality of delivery in education institutions. The NEI is now a project within the Education Transformation Team of the Ministry of Education. A Chief Inspector, Mrs. Elaine Foster-Allen is in place and scoping of inspection programmes has started.
Among the other initiatives being implemented by the Ministry of Education, is a Trust that will be established to be a secure source for on-going, long-term capital investment and infrastructure development in education. A part of the function of the Trust will be managing a National Education Endowment Fund. The Trust is expected to be the focal point through which the Ministry interfaces with the Diaspora and international organisations to raise donations for education infrastructure.
Acknowledging that parents are a child’s first and most important teachers, the Expert Committees reported that a National Parenting Support Commission Bill has been drafted by the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Council and the policy is at the White Paper stage.

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