The commission dubbed Education and Training Re-Imagined, is chaired by Education expert and former head of Shortwood Teacher’s College Elaine Foster-Allen.
The seven-member commission has five main deliverables. These include: A comprehensive road map to reposition Jamaica’s education and training system, consistent with Vision 2030 but also articulating a vision and signposts up to 2050.
– Redefined metrics/scorecard for measuring the efficiency, performance, progress, or the quality of education.
– Recommendation of structures and approaches to promote equity and social justice for all.
–Recommendations for the repositioning of teacher education development.
– Recommendations to promote learning at all levels of the education and training system.
The other members of the commission are Patricia Sutherland, Dr Christopher Clarke, Petrona McLeod, Gary Francis, Heather Murray and Patrick Barrett (aka Tony Rebel) with Opposition Spokesperson on Education, Ronnie Thwaites, as ex officio.
In launching the Commission today, Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips explained that "despite tremendous progress and the heroic efforts of so many educators, Jamaica’s inherited education system unfortunately still perpetuates many of the class, colour and economic disparities and prejudices in our history."
He said "While many educators have pushed forward and enabled the advancement of young people from challenged backgrounds, limited social mobility and the development of social capital continues to be a challenge. These are two key contributors to a socially cohesive and productive society."
"Whilst as a nation we have been successful in creating access up to the secondary level, According to the NEI report, 55% of our schools are ineffective in delivering a satisfactory education to Jamaica’s children," Phillips said.
The result of this is that "Jamaica’s labour force is one of the least productive in the Caribbean."
"Out of a total employed labour force of 1,146, 600 some 754.000 (66 %) have had no training and only 57,900 are receiving on the job training."
"This is untenable," Phillips declared. "Between 2010 and 2015 labour productivity declined by an average 0.3% per annum. We are now experiencing the phenomenon of unemployed university graduates even after some seventy-five per cent migrate to seek jobs abroad."
"At another level we now have some 467,000 young Jamaicans between the ages of 15 and 29 who are neither “working nor looking for work”. This is part of the social reservoir which feeds organized crime and our high homicide rate.
"As we seek to create a Jamaica that works for all Jamaicans we must be deliberate about the outcomes of our education system and the attributes of the Jamaican Citizen that it should engender, ensuring that all of our schools are good schools," the Opposition leader said.
- Countries: Jamaica