New education system strengthens Vision 2030 - Patricia Jacobs
Senior educator Dr Patricia Jacobs has reaffirmed Government's notion that strides are being made at all levels of education, particularly since the implementation last year of the National Standards Curriculum (NSC).
The holder of a PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University and a Bachelor's degree in English Language, Literature and Social Sciences from the University of the West Indies, Jacobs spoke with The Gleaner at Research Tuesdays at the Mico University College (MUC) in St Andrew on Tuesday.
Jacobs noted the NSC's main aim of directly aligning education with workforce needs while maintaining sustainability.
"If you have sustainable education you are preparing students for the world of work and if they're better prepared for the working world then that goes well for the economy, the development of the country, mitigation of poverty and crime etc. The focus of aligning education to Vision 2030 is not only correct, it is strategic," said Jacobs.
Jacobs emphasised that electronic and print media are the mediums best suited to sensitise students to the changes that have taken effect.
TARGET THE GAPS
Teacher preparation, parental involvement and needs of the child in terms of nutrition are shortfalls in need of improvement, she said.
"Academic work is not just in isolation, so we have to look at the holistic child and then target the gaps. If we consistently look at how well teachers are being prepared to teach, the home situation and the needs of the child, then the system will [become] very efficient."
A graduate of Mico, Jacobs officially presented her study of the MUC's early childhood education undergraduate degree programme using the phenomenological approach. The main aim of the study is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the early childhood programme at the college.
She told The Gleaner: "This is so MUC can go back in a reflective mode and strengthen the programme. Also, if other teacher-training institutions or universities look at the study, they can also see what pitfalls to avoid, what policies they can adopt or, if they have it already, strengthen to improve their services. So the study has the potential to impact teacher training in Jamaica and the wide Caribbean."