Task Force Member Highlights Importance of Transforming Education System


Member of the National Task Force on Education Reform, Dr. Dennis Minott, has emphasised the need for Jamaica to use education as the tool for the social and economic changes necessary to enable it to successfully confront the challenges of the 21st Century.
Addressing the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Port Antonio on August 29, Dr. Minott said the country has to transform its education system, to make it more relevant to current needs, and to ensure that it provided maximum benefits to as many Jamaicans as possible.
He noted that the Task Force was established to bring about the changes that would make for a more successful system, adding that despite the existence of pockets of excellence, investigation carried out by the task force had identified many weaknesses.
Dr. Minott said the Task Force considered a number of factors, including the experiences of several Caribbean countries and other areas of the world, in making its recommendations. He said it was of utmost importance that the goals set be achieved if development of the education system is to be achieved.
He pointed out that those goals include the achievement of a 90 per cent mastery rate at the grade one level; an 85 per cent mastery rate at the grade four level by 2010; a college graduation rate of 60 per cent of the students of the country by that year; and ensuring that all of the country’s 22,000 teachers are equipped with at least a university degree at the Bachelors level, to better enable them to serve the 800,000 students in the education system.
Dr. Minott explained that it would cost a total of $22 billion over a five-year period to implement the transformation needed in the education system.

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