JIS News

Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced that as part of the Ministry’s drive to engage in more data-driven decision making, it will soon be introducing national student registration.
“Within the national student registration, which I will speak more of when we are close to implementation, every student will be assigned a unique account number. And within that account stored in a database, every record of the student will be deposited. So, we will be keeping track of your grades individually,” he explained.
He further noted that the information contained on the grid would help the Ministry to make assessments on the progress of every child, ensuring that all children are accounted for when the Ministry makes policy decisions. In addition, he said the information would help the Ministry to determine the productivity of the education dollar spent by the Government.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Jamaica Basic Education Project, at the Shortwood Practising Primary and Junior High School, in St. Andrew, today (March 24). The project is another being undertaken by the Ministry to transform the education sector.
The main goals are: to increase early grade reading fluency; increase acquisition of foundation mathematics skills; strengthen public-private partnership for education; and improve school performance. Shortwood Practising Primary and Junior High School is one of 250 all-age, primary and junior high schools being supported by the project.
Mr. Holness thanked all the stakeholders, especially the USAID, for their support of the project. He said the project was particularly important, as all educational gains are hinged on the ability of students to read and that it was important that teaching methods take into consideration the learning abilities of each student.
Also speaking at the launch, Mission Director for USAID, Dr. Karen Hilliard, said the United States (US) Government was happy to be partners on the project, and would continue its efforts in Jamaica to ensure literacy among children.
“We share your commitment to halt the trend of illiterate children transitioning to high schools, and we will work in concert with the Ministry and its partners to lay the building blocks, by helping students master the basics in the early grades. Only then can they successfully navigate the secondary curriculum and leave with the requisite skills to go on to university or learn a trade,” she said.
The USAID/Jamaica Basic Education project builds on the successes of two earlier projects – Expanding Educational Horizons and the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Teacher Training.

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