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

'Miss Makes Maths Fun!'

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.

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.

May 11, 2016


In the annual revision of the programme, six Social Sciences teacher educators explored the experiences of their teacher-participants to ascertain whether such experiences were aligned with the objectives of the Social Sciences curriculum sessions. Through the interpretative phenomenological approach (IPA), the researchers collaboratively explored the views on how 14 teacher-participants, who volunteered to take part in the research, experienced the programme. Using a semi-structured interview protocol, two focus group interviews were conducted simultaneously at the end of the programme. Interviews were transcribed by the teacher educators who also met as a team to undertake the coding exercise done inductively through the application of the constant comparison method of Glaser and Strauss (1967) to arrive at the themes. The findings show that teachers’ experiences were aligned with the session objectives especially with respect to learnings on the nature of their discipline, developing skills for teaching diverse learners, becoming responsible for self-development as teachers. Such learnings seem to indicate a positive change in praxis and professional identity. The recommendations made would lead to a review of the session objectives for the Teaching of Social Sciences in the Dip. Ed. programme for future cohorts.


May 11, 2016


The world has made some remarkable progress in education since 2000, when the six Education for All (EFA) goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established. Those goals were not, however, reached by the 2015 deadline and continued action is needed to complete the unfinished agenda. With Goal 4 of Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [i] – ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong earning opportunities for all’ (hereafter referred to as Education 2030) – and its associated targets, the world has set a more ambitious universal education agenda for the period from 2015 to 2030. Every effort must be made to guarantee that this time the goal and targets are achieved.

Education 2030 was developed through a broad consultative process driven and owned by Member States, and facilitated by UNESCO as well as other partners and guided by the EFA Steering Committee.1 Education 2030 draws on the thematic consultations on education post-2015 of 2012 and 2013 led by UNESCO and UNICEF, the Global Education for All Meeting held in Muscat, Oman, in May 2014, non-government organization (NGO) consultations, the five regional ministerial conferences organized by UNESCO in 2014 and 2015, and the E-9 meeting held in Islamabad in 2014.2 A key mile stone in its development is the Muscat Agreement [ii], which was adopted at the Global EFA Meeting in May 2014 and which informed the global education goal and its associated targets and means of implementation as proposed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG).

This process culminated in the Incheon Declaration, which was adopted on 21 May 2015 at the World Education Forum (WEF 2015) held in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The Incheon Declaration constitutes the commitment of the education community to Education 2030 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, recognizing the important role of education as a main driver of development. The Education 2030 Framework for Action, which provides guidance for implementing Education 2030, was discussed at WEF 2015, and its essential elements were agreed upon in the Incheon Declaration. It was finalized by the Drafting Group for the Education 2030 Framework for Action and adopted by 184 Member States and the education community during a high-level meeting at UNESCO, Paris on 4 November 2015. The Framework for Action outlines how to translate into practice, at country/national,3 regional and global level, the commitment made in Incheon. It aims at mobilizing all countries and partners around the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on education and its targets, and proposes ways of implementing, coordinating, financing and monitoring Education 2030 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. It also proposes indicative strategies which countries may wish to draw upon in developing contextualized plans and strategies, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities.

The Framework for Action has three sections. Section I outlines the vision, rationale and principles of Education 2030. Section II describes the global education goal and its associated seven targets and three means of implementation, as well as indicative strategies. Section III proposes a structure for coordinating global education efforts, as well as governance, monitoring, follow-up and review mechanisms. It also examines ways of ensuring that Education 2030 is adequately financed and outlines the partnerships needed to realize the agenda at country/national, regional and global level.


FILED UNDER: Education, Reports, UNESCO
April 27, 2016


Given that almost all our activities relate in some way to climate change, whether addressing drought, flooding, erosion or other issues, we have selected only those that have climate change as their main focus. 




Senator Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information has announced the removal of auxiliary fees in high schools effective at the start of the next academic year. He said this will be facilitated by increasing the Ministry’s subvention to schools for tuition from $11500 to $19000.


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