JIS: Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean, says Government will continue instituting policy changes aimed at tackling gender disparity within the education sector.
“Certainly, there have been specific efforts to focus attention on gender disparities in education. There is an emerging need to reflect and focus in a proactive manner on transforming attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns with respect to gender,” she said.
Dr. McLean further indicated that over the years, the Ministry, through the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) and Commonwealth Secretariat, “has done significant work as it relates to highlighting the differences between boys and girls, and really what we need to do to ensure that we focus and support both areas”.
She was speaking at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) 18th annual education conference on ‘Gender and the Teaching Profession: Implications for Teaching and Learning’ on Tuesday (April 23) at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in St. James.
Meanwhile, Dr. McLean said the Ministry will do more to address the continued underperformance of boys academically, with data garnered from research conducted by local gender and development specialists in academia.
“Our data show that our girls continue to outperform our boys. Data also show, however, that when our boys are gainfully engaged in activities, they become intimately involved in doing practical activities [and] then the results are far much better,” she noted.
Dr. McLean contended, however, that based on the extent of research conducted, “we are now at a place where we can seriously look at gender with the data available and [make] decisions as to how we can ensure equal opportunities for all our children… as we prepare them for life”.
She added that the Government intends to utilise recommendations developed during the JTA conference to improve on its policies and programmes.
“Let me extend congratulations to the Jamaica Teachers’ Association for, once again, coming up with an area that, as educators, we need to look at. I am looking forward to the decisions that will be made, or will be suggested, where the Ministry of Education Youth and Information can take these, reflect on our policies and make changes to, as it would be necessary for us to be able to continue to impact the lives of our children,” Dr. McLean added.
She further stated that the Ministry, through the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC), the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), and its regional network will continue to work to ensure that the nation’s children are receiving the requisite support.
“Our mission is to encourage and help educators to continue to explore innovative teaching approaches that will result in making all our boys and our girls productive citizens, and providing for themselves and their families,” she said.
CAPTION ONE: Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean (right), along with (from left) Assistant Secretary General in charge of Professional Services at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), Dr Margaret Chin; JTA Past President, Nadine Molloy; Head of Business Banking at JN Bank, Ryan Parkes; Senior Lecturer and Head of the institute of Gender and Development Studies, University of West Indies, Mona, Dr. Lieth Dunn; and Deputy Secretary General in charge of Administration, Human Resource and Finance at the JTA, Dr. Charmaine Gooden Monteith, at the 55th staging of the JTA's Education Conference at the Hilton Rose Hall, Resort and Spa, Montego Bay on April 23.
CAPTION TWO: Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean, speaking at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) Education Conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa, Montego Bay on April 23.