Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Ideas on ways to improve Jamaica's education system

Published:Saturday | October 17, 2015 | 10:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

A school is as good as its principal/headmaster/headmistress. That said, I would recommend that all principals be trained by a successful principal like Mr Ruel Reid, who turned around Jamaica College, and the principal of Denbigh High, Kasan Troupe, just to mention two.

I know there is a listing of all the best-performing schools. Let the principals of the best-performing schools train other principals every two years. Also, let the principal be held accountable for the reputation and performance of the school and its teachers. This could be sponsored by international donor agencies, the National Housing Trust (NHT) surplus, the private sector, profits from Boys and Girls' Championships, and Manning Cup football or even past students

associations.

It seems that for subjects such as mathematics and chemistry, the best teachers are leaving to teach in the USA, Canada, and England. I know we cannot afford to pay as much; however, the Government offers benefits and incentives to teachers of these subjects.

Examples of benefits could be NHT housing or loans at discounted rates excluding interest rates as long as the person is still teaching in Jamaica, and once they leave, market rates should apply. Since the NHT always reports a surplus, why not pump that surplus into reducing the interest rates for teachers or even provide rent-free housing for them?

Also, give free education for children of those teachers even up to tertiary level as long as the teacher is still teaching in Jamaica.

I hope this helps as I am just a humble citizen of Jamaica who wants Jamaica's future to surpass that of Singapore, and the only way that can happen is when the education system becomes the best in the world.

Simbarashe Nkrumah

sknkrumah@gmail.com