Budget Focus - Education
Vision 2030 Jamaica aims to have "world-class education and training" in Jamaica by the year 2030. There is an acknowledged shortage of resources to achieve this vision. Therefore, prioritisation must be done. Early-childhood education, primary education and secondary education, along with skills-based programmes to equip our youth to earn a livelihood in the 21st-century knowledge-based economy, must be the focus of the 2015-2016 budgetary allocation for education if we are to achieve Vision 2030.
Although some work has been done to revamp early-childhood education in the country, it is not enough. Appropriate training for every teacher at that level must be put in place. There needs to be systematic supervision islandwide, of realistic standards, to be held and maintained at this level.
In order to improve the quality of education at the primary and secondary levels, the preparation of teachers for the Jamaican classroom needs to be upgraded. Resources must be put in place to train the teachers in the attitudes and skills sets that are needed for the 21st-century Jamaican classrooms. Furthermore, maintaining the shift system is inimical to achieving a world-class education system. Therefore, money must be spent to upgrade school plants so that the shift system will no longer be necessary.
Esther Tyson, Educator