Ministry ofd Education
July 1, 2012

The National Education Strategic Plan takes into account much of the policies that have been developed or implemented before my appointment as Minister of Education in January, 2012. A renewed emphasis on accountability, security and safety in schools, early childhood development, information and communication technology ( ICT) and media in education, and national literacy and numeracy thrusts are among the main elements of this plan. I must also acknowledge that this document takes into account the recommendations of the 2004 Task Force on Educational Reform, Jamaica. Some of the recommendations have already been implemented, while others are at varying stages of implementation. Th e modernisation of the Ministry of Education is advanced and generally in keeping with the Public Sector Modernisation Programme.

Our educational institutions must deliver better results, and to achieve this we need all stakeholders, including the Ministry of Education, our educators, students and parents to fulfi ll their responsibilities. Th e Ministry of Education must lead the process and has identifi ed the strategic priorities which will guide our eff orts. The priorities are:

  1. Improvement in processes and systems to enhance efficiency and service delivery
  2. Enhancement of educational outcomes
  3. Building leadership capacity at all levels of the system
  4. Creating an environment which fosters positive social interactions
  5. Improvement in facilities and infrastructure
  6. The strengthening and expansion of partnerships
  7. Strengthening the policy, legislative and regulatory framework

EduVision International Conference on Technology in Education and Training


The 6th International EduVision Conference on Technology in Education and Training aims to provide a multinational and multi-disciplinary platform where the latest trends in the application of technology in education, training and development are presented and discussed in an intellectually stimulating and open environment. 


Hilton Rose Hall Hotel and Spa
Montego Bay

Caribbean Child Research Conference




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Crescent Primary School's improved performance in mathematics is worth applauding, maths specialist and the Ministry of Education/ JN Bank National Maths Teacher of the Year Neisha Grant-Lawrence agrees, but the level is still far from where she wants it to be.

Please join the Caribbean Partners for Educational Progress (CoP) and Guest Moderator Prof. Beverley Bryan for an EduExchange on Dress and Grooming Guidelines for Students in SchoolsTo join this discussion, click "Sign in to join the discussion" button to the right and sign in with your CoP account. Please email the Facilitator with any questions about registration or participation in the EduExchange.


Day 1 April 5, 2017 How should students' dress and grooming be regulated?
The National Council on Education is soliciting the views and opinions of a wide cross sectipn of people, inclusive of students, parents, principals and school board members, to inform the approach which should be taken by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information with regard to dress and grooming of students in school.

Bells toll at private schools - JSIA claims more than 300 closed in five years while others are floundering

Wesley Boynes, president of the Jamaica Independent Schools' Association (JISA), has estimated that more than 300 private schools across the island have been shuttered in the last five years.

According to Boynes, many other private schools are on the verge of closing as more and more parents switch their children to public schools.

Target Teacher Training - Education Needs Top Quality For Transformation

The group threw out the challenge from the Fourth Floor for institutions to examine teaching-training methods so they can prepare teachers to respond to the needs of a changing society and help students develop the competencies that will help them navigate the world.

Partici[pants touched on a range of challenges facing education in Jamaica.

Among the hot-button issues were demand for better-qualified and committed teachers, effective management and accountability, robust school boards and greater parental and community involvement in education.

Many successful professionals remember at least one exceptional teacher who made school exciting and had a profound impact on their learning experience. These teachers were passionate about the subjects they taught and showed genuine care for their students. Today, parents try to seek out these teachers in the belief that their children's success will be guaranteed. However, they are in short supply.

Where are the quality teachers? It seems scores of Jamaican teachers are finding new pathways through the education recruitment business which offers them overseas jobs at way higher rates.

"Our people leave here, they go to the United States, they fall in line with the accountability system and they do excellently," said well-known educator Dr Marcelyn Collins-Figueroa.

"We have lost nearly 400 teachers in science and mathematics to the United Kingdom. I am in contact with some of them; they are well accepted and they get very positive feedback for their work."

Acknowledging that there are limited resources for training, Dr Carol Gentles, educator and teacher trainer, reported on a five-year study conducted by the School of Education at UWI that looked at how beginning teachers developed their understanding of what it meant to be a teacher.

"We found that, by and large, they are very good teachers; they are very committed to the notion of caring and they want to make a difference. But they see themselves making a difference in how well they ameliorate all the inefficiencies in the children."

This may mean buying breakfast or nurturing the children to build self-esteem, and while those things are important, Gentles said teachers did not understand that their primary role was to efficiently and effectively teach the children.

Speaking passionately about the young teachers, Gentles lamented the lack of support for them. She was joined in this by Collins-Figueroa, who added that young teachers require nurturing and support as they develop in their profession.

"We are not realising that teachers learn over time. Their learning is connected not only to their pre-service training but also to their ongoing professional learning," said Gentles.

Trisha Williams-Singh, who has been thumbing through the Education Act, said it needs to reflect generational changes in education.

"A different generation is kicking in, and how they choose to learn is very different than learning 30, 40 years ago," she emphasised.

The youngest Fourth Floor participant, Romario Scott, a medical student, while observing that much of the learning was taking place outside the classroom these days, was concerned about the failure of boys in the education system and wanted to know what could be done to correct the situation.

He had this query: "Is it that we need more male teachers, or is it that we need to get our female teachers to understand the dynamics of how boys learn?"

In response, Gentles said: "I think we need to look at it from a curriculum perspective and also the pedagogy in the classroom. We are not teaching the boys according to the ways that boys learn best ... . We have been talking about it, but I don't know if we have been doing enough to correct it."

Dr Canute Thompson, UWI lecturer and leadership coach, believes that many of the issues concerning the learning of boys, children with disabilities or developmental problems, can be resolved to some extent by preparing the teachers.

"It may not be possible to prepare every teacher to be an expert in diagnosing developmental delays and difficulties, but you must have some appreciation and can take it to another level," he said.

Gentles cited this as one area that needs resources.

"You can't expect a teacher to have all the abilities and capabilities to assess children. So I agree they must be able to know enough to say, 'This child needs to be referred somewhere', but there is nowhere to receive them."

Various reforms have been undertaken in the name of education over many years, including revamped curriculum, shift system and free education, but the conclusion of Fourth Floor participants was that they all fall short of the impact of having a good teacher in the classroom.


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