Jamaica education systems
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Jamaican Education


Jamaica education is one that is admired by many for years, but in the recent times there has being a number of changes which have triggered many debates. For children in Jamaica their first years are spent at the basic schools, then to the primary or prep schools, high schools and then perhaps to university or college.

In the past, there were the common entrance examinations which a child has to take and this would place them in high schools based on the results, but this has changed in recent years and is now called the GSAT examination. Some people are not too thrilled with this new system, as they feel that it is not doing what is necessary for the children. In fact, the Minister of Education who is Andrew Holness was in the news not too long ago speaking on matters relating to the grading of the principals in the primary schools and also how he really felt about the GSAT examinations. A few analyst thinks that he is not forceful in this capacity, as well as that he is not making the right changes in the education ministry.

When the country was under the rule of the PNP, Andrew Holness was the Opposition Minister for Education and that should have provided him with sufficient understanding regarding the inefficiencies in this ministry and also with a functioning framework which would allow him to modify the policies.

For this reason, the Jamaicans are still questioning the work that he is doing since he was appointed the Minister of Education. Many Jamaicans thinks that he is blaming everybody except himself for failures in eliminating the disproportion and also makes the necessary policy changes. The persons in charge and all Jamaicans should ensure that the education system is developed in way that it will be valuable to the young generation and help them to become productive in this world which is constantly changing.

Obviously, there might be issues with the actual programs associated with the GSAT assessment which needs to be resolved. Every year, people make a complaint that the curriculum is too stressful and that there are several faults in the way the exam is judged on certain topics. In the end, this is not making much sense, because every year when this exam comes around there is still going to the discussions about the problems with the system and the cycle will go on.

In addition, there is also the blaming of the colleges which train the teachers for not producing persons who are at the requisite level and this should not be happening. The education ministry has the power to have an impact on Teachers Colleges or High Schools in order to improve on the standard which will benefit everyone. Therefore, the minister must remain firm and also find ways to influence the changes which should be made and give the children the most effective opportunities.

The reality is, at this time next year Jamaica education should be reflecting changes such as the prerequisites needed to improve the teachers colleges; the modification of the GSAT curriculum for children in grade six; improvement in the teacher to student ratio and other important issues. This is the only way to build a foundation for the young people in this country and help them to be
successful in their chosen career path.

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