Extend school year, don't build
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I think all high schools in Jamaica should be operated on a shift system, and an extended academic year should be implemented in these institutions. These schools should only be allowed a two-week holiday during summer, and only public holidays during the Easter and Christmas period.
If the Government embarked on my recommended system, it would not have to build a single classroom for accommodation of more students.
Sir, how can we lock up our high schools during the long summer break and give extended holidays during Easter and Christmas, yet turn around and complain about lack of space for high-school students?
Teachers would have to be paid increased salaries to work for the extended school year.
The Government will not be able to build enough additional high schools in the very near future, therefore, we will have to modify the shift system and use it to provide additional high-school places.
The length of the extended school year in this new shift system would provide students with at least two months of additional contact teaching time.
Also, we need heavy skills programmes in the high school, with a large population of slow learners in our high schools.
HUGH A. BLAIR