JIS News

Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, has emphasised that stakeholders in the education system need to be accountable for the outcomes within the sector.
“A challenge is to get our leaders in education, our education administrators, instructors, teachers to be accountable for the outcomes of the Education Ministry. For too long in our education system, we have not had a strong spirit of accountability,” he stated.
Mr. Holness was addressing the South St Andrew Academic Awards Ceremony, which was held under the theme ‘Celebrating Excellence’, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston recently.
“If it is, that after we analyse the Grade Four Achievement Test and we see that in 1999 nearly 60 per cent were not reading at the Grade Four level, somebody should be held accountable and accountability doesn’t mean punishment or sanctions. Accountability really means that someone must find a solution,” the Education Minister pointed out.
Minister Holness, also lauded the performance of the students and the work of the South St Andrew constituency, in developing the programmes for the students, development.
“It is this spirit of cooperation that will move our country forward…I am very proud of your accomplishments. The goals of this programme reflect, very accurately, the goals of the Ministry of Education. Indeed, when I look at the successes that were pointed out, they match exactly the successes I want [for the Ministry],” he stated, while explaining that a major challenge is how to get it done.
“One of the challenges that we face, is not that as a country we don’t know what to do; we have an intellectual capacity that compares favourably with, if not better than, the rest of the world. Our challenge is always how to do it, how to get it done,” the Education Minister stressed.
In the meantime, Mr. Holness pointed out that other challenges facing the education system, include getting leaders to believe in the goals that are set.
“It is a major challenge to get the leaders in education to believe that you the students, who come from the inner city, can actually achieve as much as students who come from the suburbs or middle class homes, because there is a problem in education of expectations,” he sated.
However, he pointed out that some students also have low expectations of themselves, and that a programme will be established to address this issue.
“It is not just the leaders who have low expectations of the students, but the students have low expectations of themselves. One of the challenges that the Ministry of Education faces, is how to increase our levels of excellence. But we are now seriously looking at devising a programme that will address the issue of self esteem in our children, expectations, and to get our educators to truly believe that education is a right that everyone should have access to,” Minister Holness emphasised.
‘Celebrating Excellence: the South St Andrew Academic Awards Ceremony’, was hosted to recognise the outstanding academic performance among 93 students, who participated in the Primary Success in Reading Programme and six adults who participated in the Adult Continuing Education (ACE) programme.