Mon | Aug 31, 2015

PRISMS OF POSSIBILITY

Published:Sunday | February 3, 2013
Parents celebrate with their child after the release of the Grade Six Achievement Test results at Sts Peter and Paul in St Andrew last March. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer
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The recently released 'Report card on education in Jamaica' done by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) has attracted much attention based on its score for the performance of the system.

But the report also includes an action plan for the way forward dubbed 'We all can act ... We all must act'.

The Gleaner will present excerpts of the suggested steps for stakeholders, starting with the recommendations for parents and students.

Parents should:

  • Capitalise on offers made by the private sector to fund examination fees for selected CSEC subjects.
  • Become more active in the monitoring and development of school activities, through discussion of documents like the Jamaica Education Report Card and the findings from school and student assessments and their implications for your school.
  • Demand better information on teacher qualifications, use of school resources, and progress towards education goals.
  • Participate in school-improvement planning and develop regular lines of communication with teachers.
  • Instil/reinforce the value of education and its connection to adult life from home so that students will more clearly see how education is relevant to their lives.
  • Work closely with schools to improve attendance and keep absences to a minimum - families should aim to exceed the Government's target of students attending at least 85 per cent of scheduled school days.
  • Seek ways to keep students enrolled in schools for the entire secondary cycle, which currently ends at grade 11 (16 years old), and longer if possible, (extending the mandatory school age to 18 years should provide students with additional incentives to stay in school and, hopefully, better prepare students for possible entry into tertiary level institutions).

Students should:

  • Set personal goals that can be incorporated into class plans and ultimately help influence school plans.
  • Become active in their Students' Council Associations as this will provide an avenue for them to express their views about the education system.
  • Provide feedback to school leaders on the quality of education being offered.
  • Become more involved in volunteering opportunities and civic bodies.