The Full Story
The governance of public educational institutions is expected to be vastly improved with the launch of the online School Board Platform.
The portal, which can be found on the National Council on Education’s (NCE) website at https://www.nce.org.jm/, was officially launched by Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, during the final sitting of the current NCE, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, on Wednesday (June 29).
Mrs. Williams noted that the platform’s establishment forms part of a comprehensive strategy to transform the governance of Jamaica’s public educational institutions.
She said it aims to provide support for school Boards to conduct their important functions in a more timely and efficient manner, recognising that “effective Boards lead effective schools and create rewarding experiences for our students.”
“It is also about empowering the Boards through the infusion of technology and innovative practices that can assist them in adding value to the schools placed in their charge,” the Minister said.
Mrs. Williams noted that the work of school Boards is “extremely complex” and cited the need for ready and available support to equip them with information and resources to resolve issues promptly.
“The Ministry of Education and Youth recognises the important role Boards play in supporting the effective functioning of schools. It also recognises that governance is an important resource [to] support the transformation of our education system. It is within this context that the School Board Platform has been developed,” she said.
Mrs. Williams, in highlighting the platform’s features, said it will enable schools to upload their minutes, indicate major issues and highlight other areas of concern.
“What that will do is provide, in one place, all the minutes from across the education system and that should give us the ability to interrogate, compare, and see the issues that our Boards are dealing with across the education sector,” she pointed out.
Mrs. Williams noted that the Ministry will be able to proactively deal with matters of concern highlighted in the minutes which, previously, would be submitted manually and not always in a timely manner.
“The platform is a vehicle for providing vital information for supporting school Boards. It will also aid in resolving governance issues and support the Ministry and the NCE in adopting a more targetted approach in assisting the Boards of Management. So, it is a very important first step for our Boards,” she added.
The portal was launched under the theme: ‘Leading Effective Schools – Creating Rewarding Experiences for Students’.
Mrs. Williams thanked Chief Education Officer, Dr. Kasan Troupe, and her staff for spearheading the platform’s development in collaboration with the NCE.
The Minister also expressed her gratitude to the Council members who will be demitting office on June 30, 2022, for the high level of commitment and dedication to their work.
“I also wish to extend my sincerest appreciation to our school Board chairmen and members for their tireless efforts and the value they continue to add to our schools,” she said.
The NCE is a statutory body within the Ministry of Education and Youth. Its establishment was born out of the need to have a non-partisan, national and strategically placed organisation to address a wide range of issues impacting the education process.
The aim of the NCE is to ensure continuity in policy development, even when there are changes of government or administration, as well as facilitate greater community involvement in the management of educational institutions.