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Schools placing too much focus on extra-curricular activities - educational expert

Published:Monday | August 3, 2015 | 9:45 AM

Educational leadership expert, Dr Renee Rattray, says many of Jamaica’s schools are placing too much emphasis on extra-curricular activities at the expense of students’ learning.

Rattray, who is a former principal and school inspector, heads the private sector’s iLead programme developed by the Jamaica National Foundation.

At an education ministry function recently, she argued that many school leaders point to mainly successes in extra-curricular activities when asked about the performance of their schools.

She says extracurricular activities are not true indicators of the quality of learning taking place in schools and principals must redirect their focus.

Rattray is also criticising the manner in which school leaders and teachers are recognised, suggesting that principals and teachers here are awarded more for their years of service than results.

Meanwhile, she also says too much time is spent on administrative functions which impacts assessment of teachers and other issues which affect how students learning.

She says more principals and vice-principals need to be observing what teachers are doing in classrooms and providing adequate feedback.