Tue | Dec 1, 2020


Published:Monday | March 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Proceed with caution

Before Jamaica goes off on a recruiting spree designed to bring in foreign math specialists from, shall we say, "more developed" nations such as the United States, perhaps its Ministry of Education officials would do well to try to investigate the real story of mathematics progress in such countries.

If they were to do so, I can suggest from at least some level of personal experience, (having been one and having once been recruited to teach in Jamaica), that they might do well to realise that only a very few such worthy specialists actually exist and of those very few, even fewer would, with any seriousness, even begin to consider coming to Jamaica to assist in educational efforts concerning mathematics.

In other words, for most such specialists, the ongoing battle to improve the state of mathematics education, a battle that is daily being lost to the more important demands of say sports achievement, begins at home. Missionary work, particularly in a 'war-zone' like Jamaica, is almost out of the question and those who might come, most probably would do so to escape their own failures or to sell some package of the latest and greatest "con-artistry," cleverly designed and hyped by the typical teacher-education college, to further their own career effort, more than to actually improve schools.

Indeed, those same ministry officials might also find, with a little more study of the matter, that the current state of mathematics education in the US, even in what are considered the finest of secondary systems, is most obviously inadequate, both with respect to the quality of instructional personnel and the relevance of the curricula presented, in particular with regard to imparting even the most basic understanding of the field!

In short, students, at least here in the US, are seldom taught anything of the history of mathematics or of its development and present state in the western world.

- Ed McCoy



Make WiFi more accessible

I would like to see free access to educational television expanded as many people still do not even have access or can afford their own television. To further their access to information along with PM Golding's free education, WiFi should be made accessible to everyone.

I know someone paid a lot of money for this technology and infrastructure. But, even if it took some Government subsidy, I cannot see how a Jamaican dollar could be better spent than free WiFi islandwide where many people could even earn a college degree. If we are to develop Jamaica, I can think of no better way to educate the masses who simply cannot afford access to television, let alone the internet. Let's take a step forward .

- Richard Schwartz


St Ann's Bay