Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Japanese grant to help boost education quality

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Senator Ruel Reid (right), minister of education, youth and information, greets ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, Hiromasa Yamazaki, at the launch of the Support for Sustainability of the Education Sector Transformation Plan in Kingston yesterday.

The public education sector has received a financial boost through the Japanese Trust Fund to launch the programme of Support for Sustainability of the Education Sector Transformation Plan.

A grant of US$500,000 (J$63m), managed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), was made available to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. This is expected to increase support to teacher-training colleges, strengthen early-childhood modernisation initiatives and address issues relating to technical support in the Department of School Services.

"This partnership will allow us to continue our work in terms of early childhood and in terms of how teachers' colleges train our teachers," Ruel Reid, minister of education, youth and information, told The Gleaner at the presentation ceremony held yesterday at the Courtyard Marriott hotel in New Kingston.

"We are in a global economy, so we cannot just train our teachers to function locally. We are reforming the curriculum, so that children can be better prepared for high school, " he said.

IDB education specialist Annelle Bellony said that the funds would enable Jamaica to be better prepared for the Programme for International School Assessment (PISA).

"Jamaica has decided that, come 2021, it will participate in PISA, which is a major thing. PISA really is assessing how 15-year-olds are performing globally. Jamaica's participation is going to be a benchmark for the island. In 2009 and 2015, Trinidad participated. What we have seen for Trinidad is progress. Jamaica similarly can see progression," said Bellony.

"The grant will help to bring together the Early Childhood Commission and the National Parenting Support Commission, because what happens at home affects what happens in schools. What it is going to do, also, is have key focus on science and math."

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com