Jamaica, for the first time, will be establishing an entity that will include children as part of school leadership as the country moves to implement a comprehensive transformation plan for the education sector.
The recommendation for the inclusion of children in school leadership was among a number of critical recommendations advanced by the Professor Orlando Patterson-led Jamaica Education Transformation Commission report, which was launched in January.
The report covered a wide range of issues, including the restructuring of the education bureaucracy, rebalancing the funding of tertiary education, the financing of early childhood education, and changes to the management and curriculum of teachers’ colleges.
Speaking at a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston on Wednesday, Education Minister Fayval Williams announced that the ministry has started work to implement a number of recommendations.
“The Jamaica Teaching Council Bill, which is currently being debated in Parliament, is a major recommendation of the commission’s report and is a very visible example of work under way,” she said.
“Already, we’ve had various senior policymaking group meetings at which we have interrogated our literary and numeracy programs as well as our higher education and special education policies.
In seeking to identify gaps and immediate actions, Williams said that the ministry has already revisited the School improvement Framework, revised the School Supervision and Monitoring Checklist, and the School Supervisory Framework, and will next undertake a strategic review of the central ministry and regional offices .
“Of the 199 recommendations, 54 have been prioritized as the ones that will have the biggest impact in the shortest possible time,” Williams said.
Among the initiatives to be implemented are the development and implementation of a National Learning Recovery Plan, National Training Plan for Staff and Teachers, Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, and a Teacher Policy.
Also outstanding is a strategic infrastructure development plan for school buildings and the operationalization of the National Qualification Framework.