Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Ja: The private sector rides to the rescue of education in Jamaica

PRIVATE SECTOR groups represented by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) have placed the reform of the nation's education system as a central plank of an economic development plan, dubbed Partnership for Progress.

The recommendations include a five-point proposal to increase efficiency in the administration of the education system.

The private sector-led initiative aims to build a social partnership, including the private sector, unions and government, to ensure that Jamaica's socio-economic climate improves through a combination of public expenditure cuts, wage restraint and tax reform.

According to the draft document under discussion with the Government, performance management systems must be developed and implemented in schools and in the Ministry of Education as a matter of priority, to alleviate the current concerns of accountability in the ministry.

It also proposes the introduction of performance-related monetary and other incentives to promote excellence in teaching.

In addition, the draft document states school attendance between the ages of three and 13 must be compulsory, noting that the Government must urgently reallocate funds from the tertiary to early childhood and primary education.

The private sector partners are suggesting that the Ministry increase its efforts to boost participation between parents, community and churches to attain better attendance levels.
Good to see that the public sector is relying on two of the three pillars of society (family and church) in order to reform the third (school). Let's hope that the rest of their ideas don't include American faddism.

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