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Ten Government-funded teacher-training institutions (TTIs) have been receiving well-needed support through the Japan-funded Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Technical Cooperation, since 2018.

This project is valued at US$260,000 (approximately J$40,000,000).

Projects done under this programme to date are internal quality assurance standards developed and implemented in all 10 TTIs; quality assurance officers trained; procurement of tablets to support online instruction; outfitting of TTI laboratories with modern science equipment; delivery of teaching material/manipulatives to mathematics departments; and professional development programmes for mathematics and science teacher educators were conducted.

Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank, Executive Director of the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (JTEC), Dr. Dameon Black, said the project is being executed under the mantra “Teacher Quality Underpins National Development”. “We recognise and appreciate the importance of teachers in the overall process in ensuring positive educational outcomes,” he said.

However, he said one of the things that the country has to be mindful of is that the TTIs historically have prioritised the quality in terms of the input assurance.

According to Dr. Black, this project from the outset was seen as very critical in ensuring that TTIs develop their capacity, so they are better able to manage and coordinate the quality of their processes.

Programme Manager at the Education System Transformation Programme (ESTP), Daynea Facey, who was also a guest at the Think Tank, said that the support TTIs are receiving is welcomed. “Usually, TTIs don’t get these kinds of funding, because usually primary and secondary schools are singled out for support,” she said.

According to Mrs. Facey, through the project, efforts have been made to build the capacity of TTI lecturers in mathematics and the sciences, but more specifically to help these institutions to reform their practices in terms of quality assurance.

She disclosed that one of the crucial accomplishments is helping the colleges to agree on standards that will guide their operations.

This means that no matter which institution an individual attends, there is a certain standard related to six core areas that will allow a graduate to say they were exposed to a particular kind of education.

Teacher Training Institutions benefiting under this programme are The Mico University College; Shortwood Teachers’ College; St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College; Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College; College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE); Moneague College; Edna Manley College of the Performing Arts; Bethlehem Moravian College; Church Teachers’ College; and G.C. Foster College.

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