Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Punishment won't motivate school boards

Published:Friday | July 15, 2016 | 7:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

There is a desire for churches and trusts to be engaged in public-private partnerships, but Government wants to dictate policy while underfunding schools. I note that Immaculate Conception High, a Catholic institution, is the highest-performing school in Jamaica, yet we are not discussing how we can get the majority of high schools to use the Immaculate model to provide high-quality education across the board.

Instead, the education minister is meeting with the same churches and trusts to explain how school boards will be punished if they fail to implement his latest policy directive.

I have had the opportunity of sitting on three school boards as a nominee of the United Church and a school alumnus. For the information of the reader, board service is voluntary, time-consuming and is done for love of school community and country.

The moment that the punishments take effect, I will resign, because I think that this policy is misguided. Increasingly, I am becoming enamoured with the idea of private institutions that provide scholarships for the needy and deserving but which are free to pursue whatever curriculum they wish.

We are destroying the goodwill of those involved in the thankless task of board service and driving teachers, who want to promote excellence, into mediocrity or overseas.

Some Jamaicans are finding the money to send their children overseas for secondary and tertiary education to avoid the befuddled thinking which has a stranglehold.

HILARY ROBERTSON-HICKLING

hilary.hickling@gmail.com

UWI, Mona