Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Harnessing talent

Published:Thursday | July 23, 2015 | 7:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

If we need evidence that Jamaicans can be trained to manage, develop and handle any and all technologies, we just have to look as how easily Jamaicans, especially the young, have been able to use the

various types of cell phones, tablets and computers with which they have been provided.

Most adults know that if they have problems using their phones, they can call upon almost any child to assist them.

The challenge, then, for Jamaica is how do we harness and train this raw ability? How do we develop capabilities which can assist in advancing the fortunes not only of our young people as individuals, but also the fortunes of Jamaica?

We can take a leaf from the book that guided South Korea, Singapore and China. These countries invested heavily in an education system that is biased in favour of the development of technology and new industries. In addition, Singapore, of course, concentrated on trans-shipment and port facilities in addition to a financial centre.

These countries, in particular South Korea and China, ensure that their students are given long periods of teaching in science and mathematics. A recent study has shown that high school students in South Korea are exposed to teaching in mathematics 1 and a half times longer than the exposure in this subject given to American students.

The Koreans have ensured that the student-teacher ratio is kept low, in some instances as low as 10 students per teacher.

If we are to catch up with these countries we will have to address the way we go about teaching our children, especially at the primary level which is crucial to the establishment of a proper educational foundation in the student.

Linton P. Gordon