Jamaican Education
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Jamaican Education

Examining The Jamaican Education Structure.

The Jamaican Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture has overall responsibility for policy direction of Jamaican education. Tuition is heavily subsidized at the primary and secondary levels. A number of Jamaican schools are run by Jamaican churches and private groups and many receive subsidies from government.

Students at the primary level formerly gained access to secondary Jamaican education either by automatic promotion to secondary Jamaican schools, all age, junior high, new secondary and comprehensive high or by selection to secondary high or comprehensive high Jamaican schools through the a Common Entrance Examinations (CEE). This examination was phased out in 1998 and was replaced in 1999 by a curriculum based National Assessment

The National Assessment Program a component of the Jamaican Primary Education Improvement Project. The goal of the program is to assess the academic achievement of Jamaican students at the primary level. Four assessments are done throughout the course of the program.

Grade One Jamaican students Readiness Inventory
Grade Three Jamaican students Diagnostic Test
Grade Four Jamaican students Literacy Test
Grade Six Jamaican students Achievement Test (GSAT)

The first Jamaican Grade Six Achievement Test or GSAT took place between March 27 and 28, 1999. Already it has been reported that the new exams have produced a change of attitude in students as there is virtually none of the anxiety and worry many used to face in the days leading up to the now defunct Common Entrance Examinations.

Reform of Secondary Education in Jamaica (ROSE) is a five year project (1993-98) designed to lead to improvements in secondary Jamaican education in the first phase for all Jamaican students in grades 7-9, and in the second phase, for all Jamaican students in grades 10-11. To date, approximately 20,000 students in 65 Jamaican schools have been exposed to the newly developed curriculum. Also a number of in-service and pre-training Jamaican workshops have been held for Jamaican teachers, Jamaican student teachers and Jamaican college lecturers under this program. With the five year Jamaican project in grades seven through to nine now completed, the program us now concentrating on changes to upper secondary Jamaican education (grades ten and eleven).

The three year pilot Jamaican project, which has already started, seeks to identify the necessary changes made to upper-secondary level Jamaican education. As a result, the approximately 185 students will spend an additional year in high Jamaican school.

Tertiary Jamaican education is offered by the University of the West Indies (a regional institution); the University of Technology; the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts (which combines Jamaican schools of art, Jamaican dance, Jamaican drama and Jamaican music); College of Agriculture, Science and Education; G. C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sports; Caribbean Northern University (formerly West Indies College) and twelve teacher Jamaican training colleges. There are also fourteen community colleges, a dental auxiliary Jamaican school, a Vocational Training Development Institute, twenty-nine vocational Jamaican training centers and six Human Employment and Resources Training (HEART) vocational training institutions organized by the Human Employment and Resources Training Jamaican organization.

Since the 1970s, the Jamaican Movement for the advancement of Literacy (JAMAL), has been working to eradicate Jamaican adult illiteracy. Over the last seven years, some 113,878 persons have enrolled in its classes island wide. Its program is organized by a core of professional workers, supported by a network of volunteers. The success by JAMAL and other Jamaican educational programs was reflected in a survey done in 1994 which revealed that 75.4% of all Jamaicans were literate.

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