Wed | Jun 19, 2019

Reforms should ensure no child is left behind - Reid

Published:Tuesday | September 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
Minister of Education Ruel Reid gives Jae-ele Swanston, a grade six student at Excelsior Primary School in Kingston, $1,000 after he answered a question correctly. The minister was on a tour of schools across the Corporate Area for the official start of the new academic year yesterday.

Senator Ruel Reid yesterday used the occasion of the start of the 2018-19 academic year to reiterate that an education system where no one is left behind would represent his greatest achievement as minister of education.

Reid made the assertion as he addressed students, staff and parents who gathered for devotion inside the Douglas Orane Auditorium at Wolmer's Boys' School in Kingston.

"That has been the very classic story of Jamaica. The haves and the have-nots; the good school and the not-so-good school; the students who do well and the students who don't do very well, and the students who don't do very well are, in fact, in the majority, and they represent the greatest blight to Jamaica's development," Reid contended.

"So, the reform of the education system has to be a reform of inclusivity, leaving no one behind, supporting our parents from the earliest years right through to grade 13 for everybody."

Reid's comments come on the heels of a decision by Calabar High School in St Andrew to bar students who attain an average of less than 60 per cent from entering fifth form.

The Ministry of Education has since intervened and ordered the institution to readmit all the students it had decided to expel.




Reid went on to heap praises on the Wolmer's Boys' School model, declaring that he had copied this successful framework during his tenure as principal of Jamaica College, using it to transform the Old Hope Road institution which, back then, was plagued by indiscipline, among other things.

The minister further contended that the Wolmer's model is one to be replicated by secondary institutions islandwide, a notion which sits well with trustee Douglas Orane.

"I support 100 per cent what he said. We have 1,000 schools in Jamaica and we need to make them a 1,000 great schools, so, therefore, our objective as a society must be to lift all schools to the level that Wolmer's is at or even higher," said Orane.

Reid later visited Jessie Ripoll Primary School and Excelsior Primary School in Kingston, where he spoke to members of the grade six cohort, further reassuring them that the transition to the Primary Exit Profile will be seamless.