The implementation plan and broad-based monitoring and evaluation framework for the Jamaica Education Transformation Commission (JETC) report are completed.
The Ministry of Education and Youth has also completed a multi-year budget to carry out the implementation, which will be submitted to cabinet for review.
Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams and Chairman of the Education Transformation Oversight Committee (ETOC), Adrian Stokes, provided the updates during ETOC’s press briefing, held at the ministry on Thursday (June 15).
The minister informed that modernising the early-childhood sector and carrying out infrastructure and technological works are being prioritised.
She reported that Brain Builder Centres increased to 127, with 30 more to be established in the current financial year.
Other key results include the addition of 13 infant departments, of which seven are attached to primary schools, as well as improving the competence of teachers through training programmes.
“We are ramping up training [for] teachers in early-childhood institutions to help us to get to that ratio of one trained practitioner to 10 students. So, while we are seeing an increase in the number of early-childhood institutions granted permission to operate… we will need to deploy more trained practitioners in them,” the minister said.
Eighty-six per cent of early childhood institutions (ECIs) – 302 – were granted permission to operate, and of that number, 211 are private institutions.
OTHER IMPROVEMENTS THAT SHOULD BE EXPECTED
Meanwhile, the minister noted that work continues to improve the physical infrastructure of schools, to include green energy technology and cooling systems for classrooms.
“The report also calls on us to continue to provide access to students with disabilities and to improve not only classrooms but the facilities for our teachers and staff,” she added.
For his part, Stokes disclosed that educator, Faith Alexander, who brings “a wealth of relevant experience”, has been appointed Chief Transformation Officer in the ministry.
He said her appointment is vital in strengthening the leadership of the ministry as work continues to expedite the pace of implementation.
“It is not always about finding additional financial resources to fund the transformation effort, but it will require a pragmatic approach that assesses the effectiveness of current programmes or the return on investment, and where those programmes are found to be wanting, then a common-sense reallocation will need to be done,” Stokes said.
He emphasised that the ministry should execute a robust communication plan to provide timely and precise information to the public.
“Importantly, a communication plan that provides a broad vision of what success looks like, with key milestones highlighted along the way… in other words, connect the dots for the Jamaican people,” Stokes said.