JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, has alerted educators that this financial year will be significant for the long-term transformation of the sector. “This year is going to be a significant year for that process because of a number of initiatives that the Minister of Education is mounting this year. There are some basic concepts that inform the approach that we are taking which include reducing the role of the Ministry of Education and putting the management of the resources of schools closer to the schools.”
The Prime Minister was speaking at a ground breaking ceremony for a new building at his alma mater, St George’s College in Kingston yesterday (Jan 29). He noted that the Education Transformation Programme, was being reconfigured to match resources to priorities so that the best value for investment is gained.
“We do not feel that we are getting as much out of the investment in our education as we should be getting. We are spending between $54 Billion – $55 Billion on education each year and while we need to be spending probably double that amount, we need to be satisfied that we are getting value for every one of those precious dollars that we are spending.”
The Prime Minister said that the new arrangements include the National Education Inspectorate (NEI). The inspectorate is expected to bring greater accountability of the education system by providing a rigorous, independent evaluation of standards and quality of delivery in institutions. The NEI is now a project within the Education Transformation Team of the Ministry of Education.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the Ministry’s approach which includes having a Teachers Council and introducing the licensing of teachers, with new systems of accountability, and the scaling down of the Ministry’s bureaucracy.
Among the other initiatives for the Ministry of Education is a Trust that will be directly focussed on being a source of sustainable funding for education infrastructure and upgrading. 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.