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Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, has reiterated that improved literacy at the primary level will result in students being better able to master the secondary curricula, and result in significant long-term benefits for the country.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by Acting Director in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Joan Reid, at the Manchester Principals Association Annual Awards Luncheon, held at the Mount St. Joseph Preparatory School, in Mandeville on (December 4), Mr. Holness noted that part of the support by the Ministry to improve literacy in the primary school system, is the Government/private sector partnership to establish Enrichment Centres in schools across the island.
“These are technology-rich rooms where information and communication technologies (ICT) are used to enhance the development of literacy skills. I believe this drive to eliminate illiteracy at the primary level will be a boom for teachers and principals at the secondary level, as it will ensure they receive fully literate students, who can participate fully in the teaching/learning process,” he said.
“In addition there will be significant improvement in CSEC and CAPE passes- a result of having fully literate school populations,” he informed, noting also that the Ministry had created the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) to license teachers in an effort to hold them accountable for the performance of students.
The Education Minister emphasised that teachers need not be alarmed at the work of the JTC, as it will not seek to punish them, but to improve their ability to work more efficiently.
He emphasised that all teachers are required to be registered with the JTC. “The organisation has started the registration process and it is proceeding apace,” he noted.
The Ministry is also establishing a school leadership management college, to help develop core competences in the leadership of schools, ensuring that all schools have competent principals.
Mr. Holness said that when the college begins operating, all prospective principals will have to be trained there. He also highlighted that the soon to be established National Education Inspectorate will improve the outcomes of all students through rigorous and independent inspection of schools.

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