Statement by Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites

Excerpt from attachment: Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the media. Let me extend on behalf of the Ministry of Education best wishes for the New Year. Fifteen years ago, at the start of the millennium, the country set itself the goals that every boy and girl at grade four in school should be fully literate and numerate (be able to read and write and do arithmetic) by this year.

Ministry Steps up Training for Potential School Principals

THE MINISTRY of Education has taken another step to expand the pool of persons trained as prospective principals in order to improve the quality of leadership in the country’s public schools.
 
The National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), through a newspaper advertisement, is inviting qualified educators to apply for entry to round two of the Aspiring Principals Programme that is offered through the University of the West Indies.
 

New Guidelines for Managing SBAs

The Ministry of Education will this month implement stricter guidelines for the management of the Caribbean Examinations Council’s (CXC) school-based assessments (SBAs). These are projects or assignments that students are required to produce for individual subjects. The marks awarded are then counted towards students’ final results in the CXC examinations.
 

Education Ministry Condemns Match Fixing and Trading of Athletes

Reports in the media indicated that a probe has been launched into two second round Group J Manning Cup football matches after 28 goals were scored and there appears to be allegations of improper conduct.  

 

In a recent letter to Education Minister Ronald Thwaites the Inter-Secondary Sports Association (ISSA) disclosed that it, too, has concerns about the recent incidents.

 

Education Ministry Condemns Match Fixing and Trading of Athletes

Reports in the media indicated that a probe has been launched into two second round Group J Manning Cup football matches after 28 goals were scored and there appears to be allegations of improper conduct.  

 

In a recent letter to Education Minister Ronald Thwaites the Inter-Secondary Sports Association (ISSA) disclosed that it, too, has concerns about the recent incidents.

 

Education Ministry distributes literacy books to 800 schools

Sonia White, principal of St. Patrick's Primary School in the Corporate Area, receives supplies of Literacy 1-2-3 textbooks from Claudette Carter, director of the United States Agency for International Development /Ministry of Education’s  Improved Reading Outcomes Project, which funded the recent procurement of 613,000 books. Approximately 800 schools along with parish libraries and teachers’ colleges will receive supplies of the Literacy 1-2-3 books. Other Ministry of Education personnel are assisting with the sorting and distribution process.

SEVEN JAMAICAN STUDENTS AWARDED SCHOLARSHIPS

Seven of Jamaica’s most outstanding achievers have received scholarships under the Annual Jamaica/Grace Kennedy Scholarship Award.

 

The students were awarded the scholarships based on their performance in the sitting of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) in June 2014. The seven students, who attended high schools in Kingston, St. Andrew and Clarendon, were selected from amongst 168 students. The high acheivers are:-

 

Education Ministry Focuses on Resocialisation at Grade 7

Rolls out suite of behavior change programmes

 

THERE ARE behavioural and social issues and challenges affecting our children that cause a major cramp in the education system. Data from the Ministry of National Security’s Safe School Programme indicated that during the 2012/2013 Academic Year, three thousand six hundred and seventy one (3,671) students were cited for anti-social behaviours of varying degrees. Therefore, we are concentrating on developing positive social attitudes and customs.

 

Education Ministry Bans Disruptive Game From Schools

THE MINISTRY of Education has issued a ban against students playing the game called Charlie, Charlie Challenge in schools. In a bulletin issued today, Chief Education Officer Grace McLean instructed schools to monitor students to ensure they are not allowed to play the game.

 

The Ministry issued the ban following reports from several schools across the island of very disruptive behaviour by students who engaged in the game. Some reports intimated that students displayed demon-possessed or paranormal behaviour while playing the game.

 

High Cost Of Graduation Packages

Principals are being reminded that all measures should be implemented in order to reduce the costs of graduation packages. This includes facilitating students wearing their uniforms on the day of the activity. Parents would then not need to make new purchases for white dresses and suites. Other costs associated with acquiring corsages and the renting of school gowns should not be considered if these costs are burdensome to parents.

 

Ministry Commends Schools on Preparation for Grade Four Tests

The Ministry of Education has commended primary school principals and teachers for their efforts in preparing the nation’s children for the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Tests to be held on June 30 and July 1, 2015 respectively.  A total of 116,250 candidates will sit the examination.

 

In a recent bulletin to schools Chief Education Officer Dr Grace McLean advised principals of all Primary Schools that the format of the Grade Four Numeracy and Literacy Tests remains the same as previous sittings.

 

Ministry To Increase Transfer of GSAT Students Due to Distance

The Ministry of Education is cognisant of the many challenges facing parents whose children have to attend schools that are far from where they live. Among the concerns are the availability and cost of transportation as well as the cost of lunch.

 

These factors sometimes limit children’s attendance to three days per week. Schools also have been concerned about how students’ learning is affected by absenteeism.

 

GSAT Statement by Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education

Statement by Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education

To the House of Representatives, June 16, 2015

 

Mr Speaker, I wish to update this Honourable House on matters related to the Education Sector.

I begin by presenting a preliminary report on the performance of students on the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) for 2015. The results will be available to the primary level institutions on the evening of Wednesday June 17, 2015.

 

All in Place for Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Tests

The Ministry of Education advises that all is in place to facilitate the sitting of the Grade Four Literacy Test on Tuesday June 30 by 58,125 students.

On Wednesday July 1, some 43,127 students will sit the Grade Four Numeracy Test. The candidates for both examinations include 14,998 repeaters.

SOME 21,223 FEMALES AND 21,904 MALES WILL SIT THE NUMERACY TEST IN 1470 CENTRES ACROSS THE ISLAND, WHILE 25,641 FEMALES AND 32,484 MALES WILL SIT THE LITERACY EXAMINATION IN 1650 CENTRES.

Mathematics & Science Education Scholarship Awards

NEWS RELEASE

Education Ministry Grants Scholarships to
Trainee Teachers of Maths and Science

October 11 2015:
THE MINISTRY of Education has awarded mathematics and science education scholarships valued at $14 million to 51 persons pursuing degree programmes at teacher-training institutions across the island commencing this academic year.
Of the total scholarship awardees 42 received full tuition, four received tuition and boarding, while the remaining five received partial tuition funding.

Public Libraries to Provide Job Information

 

Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites has endorsed an agreement between the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) to provide the public with access to its Labour Market Information System (LMIS) utilizing public libraries.

 

According to Minister Thwaites the initiative is a very good use of the Library Service’s island-wide network and its recently acquired communications infrastructure.

 

Insurance Industry pleased with its investment in ‘Maths Workshops'

 

The Insurance Association of Jamaica (IAJ) recently spent just under $800,000 sponsoring four workshops for teachers of mathematics and integrated science in Montego Bay, Runaway Bay, Toll Gate and Kingston.The purpose of the workshop is to equip teachers to properly prepare their students to sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams in a few months’ time.

  

Holy Trinity High Students Sing A New Song

 

 

 Students at Holy Trinity High School in Central Kingston are singing a new song.

“Before students joined the school choir, teachers and parents had complained about their bad behavior,” recounted Andrew Coley, music instructor at the school for 20 years. He reported that since their participation in the choir students’ attire and speech have improved as a result of the discipline that accompanies music education.

 

Jamaica Day Edutainment at Belmont Academy

 Belmont Academy in Westmoreland transformed its café into a virtual museum of Jamaica’s artistic, culinary, cultural, musical, natural and political heritage in celebrating Jamaica Day on March 4, 2016. Over twelve schools from across the Ministry of Education’s Region 4 (St. James, Hanover, and Westmoreland) shared in this year’s celebrations under the theme, “Celebrating Jamaica, Promoting the Arts.”

Minister Green Urges Young Men to Be Role Models

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, is urging young men to strive to be positive leaders and role models, according to the Jamaica Information Service

Mr. Green, who was addressing a graduation ceremony for some 100 Jamaica College sixth form students, on April 6, at the school, emphasized that the country is in need of strong male leaders.

“What is important is the characteristics that you develop, even more important than the profession you choose,” he said.

Plans Progressing Well for Implementation of APSE

Plans are progressing well for the implementation of the Alternative Pathways to Secondary Education (APSE) in September 2016, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is reporting.

Deputy Chief Education Officer for Curriculum and Support Services in the Ministry, Lena Buckle Scott, said there is now a National Standard Curriculum (NSC), replete with three pathways to education at the secondary level.

Education Ministry to Work Closer with Autism Body

JIS: Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, is looking to work more closely with the Jamaica Autism Support Association (JASA) to better address the needs of children with autism.

“I want to invite you at your earliest convenience to have a sit down to examine how the great work of JASA can be enhanced through greater twinning with the mandate and work of the Ministry. I believe that all our children deserve an equal opportunity to learn,” he said.

Education Minister Endorses ERP System at CMI

JIS: MINISTER OF EDUCATION, YOUTH and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has endorsed the move by the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) to launch an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System online application portal.

This will make the CMI the first tertiary institution to use a full scale ERP System to run the entire business processes of the institution.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on April 19, Minister Reid said  the use of technology  is inevitable for institutions, if they intend to remain relevant and successful.

Education Minister Urges Parents to Put Children First

 JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Senator Ruel Reid, is appealing to parents not to choose entertainment over the care and protection of their children.

Addressing a ‘Safe Children Forum’ in May Pen earlier this week, Senator Reid noted that parents have been leaving young children at home in the care of older siblings to attend popular entertainment events.

These activities, he said, often take precedence over assisting with homework, and providing general guidance.

Singapore Math Resources Available to Local Teachers

Many primary schools in Jamaica are adapting and implementing an approach to teaching elementary mathematics that is common practice in Singapore.

 Singapore Math, which refers to the teaching methods or the actual curriculum used for kindergarten through sixth grade in the small island country, has become popular due to Singapore’s consistent top ranking on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

Minister Outlines Funding of Education

JIS:Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the Government has a fundamental position on how education is funded.

 

“In our Charter of Rights, we have a responsibility to provide State-funded education to our youth up to the age of 18. We don’t like a structure where there are fees that impede or impair access,” the Minister said.

 

Education Minster Tours US Special Needs School

SENATOR RUEL REID, Minister of Education, Youth and Information says his recent tour of the School of the Future in Philadelphia, USA has validated the Ministry’s decision to implement the Alternative Pathways to Secondary Education (APSE) approach in September this year.

 

            The School of the Future caters to a mixture of students with and without special needs.

 

Math app now available for Primary schools

All primary schools across the island will now have access to the ‘Calculation Time’ Mathematics application (app), which is designed to improve students’ knowledge and appreciation of the subject.

 

The app, which was officially launched at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites, in New Kingston, on April 29, is one of the methodologies used under the ‘Calculation Time’ programme, which aims to make learning Mathematics fun for students.

 

OCR Invites Students to Become Child Ambassadors

JIS: The Office of Children’s Registry (OCR) is inviting primary and high school students to apply to become child ambassadors for the period 2016 to 2018.

 

Applications must be submitted by May 15, 2016 and students must be between  10 and 16 years  of year years, in order to apply for the two-year programme.

 

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on April 27, Registrar at the OCR, Greig Smith, said the agency is inviting applications from all parishes, except St. Mary and St. James, as the last two child ambassadors came from those parishes.

Reading Programme Lauded

JIS: Several teachers and education officials are lauding the Education Partnership for Improved Reading Outcomes, for equipping the education system with the tools for steady progress in literacy.

 

Under the three-year project, which ended in March, the Education Ministry,  in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),  provided capacity building and technical assistance to the National Literacy Programme, implemented in 2010, through a comprehensive reading programme in 450 schools.

 

Governor General: Scholarship Announcement

JIS: Applications are invited for theSir Patrick & Lady Allen 40th Anniversary Scholarshipfor study at the University of Technology leading to a Bachelor of Science in either of the following fields: Medical Technology, Applied Science or Mathematics and Education.

 

The scholarship covers tuition and ancillary fees for the selected degree programme which should begin in the 2016/2017 academic year.

 

Caribbean Maritime Institute Signs MOU

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid (centre) participates in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Jamaica-based Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and GAT Cluster Caribes in Martinique last week. CMI is to provide regional capacity building services. Other participants from left are Dr. Ibrahim Ajagunna, Director of the School of Academics, CMI; Ms Sandra Casanova, President GAT Cluster Caribes; Dr Fritz Pinnock, Executive Director, CMI and Mr Balfour Peart, CEO Tycarbal Associates, USA.

National Child Month Broadcast by Hon. Floyd Green

National Child Month Broadcast by Hon. Floyd Green
State Minister, Ministry of Education, Youth & Information
for National Child Month Celebrations May 2016

Fellow Jamaicans,

All children deserve to grow up in a caring and loving environment -- yet, across Jamaica, thousands of children are neglected or abused each year, often causing lasting consequences. Although effectively intervening in the lives of these children and their families is an important responsibility at all levels of government, preventing abuse and neglect is a shared obligation.

National Child Month Broadcast by Hon. Floyd Green

National Child Month Broadcast by Hon. Floyd Green
State Minister, Ministry of Education, Youth & Information
for National Child Month Celebrations May 2016

Fellow Jamaicans,

All children deserve to grow up in a caring and loving environment -- yet, across Jamaica, thousands of children are neglected or abused each year, often causing lasting consequences. Although effectively intervening in the lives of these children and their families is an important responsibility at all levels of government, preventing abuse and neglect is a shared obligation.

Prime Minister to Honour 40 Educators on June 23

JIS: Prime Minister Andrew Holness will honour 40 educators on Thursday, June 23 at the Ceremony for the Presentation of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education. Those to be awarded include active and retired teachers, principals, lecturers and education officers.

 

Since 2005, awardees have been selected based on their outstanding service through innovation and creativity as well as their active involvement in community development. Some educators have served for at least 15 years and for others, as many as 47 years.

 

$295 Million Allocated to NYS

JIS: The National Youth Service (NYS) has been allocated $295 million for the implementation of various youth-development programmes during the 2016/17 financial year.

 

Speaking at a JIS Think Tank recently, Acting Executive Director of the NYS, Dennis Lawrence, noted that these programmes, which aim to equip young people with the necessary training and life-coping skills to foster their personal and career development, have collectively benefited some 20,000 persons in the last financial year.

 

Phasing out of junior high schools continuing

THE OBSERVER: THE Government’s plan to phase out junior high schools continues as it develops its Alternative Pathway for Secondary Education (APSE) programme, which will allow students more time to gain relevant certification.

 

There are 84 junior high schools left in the island.

 

Under the APSE programme, students who learn at a slower pace will advance to high school but will be taught a parallel curriculum at their level.

 

Innovators Urged to Develop Apps to Boost Gov’t Operations

JIS: State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, is encouraging technology innovators to develop applications that can be utilised by Government to improve its operations and processes.

 

“The Government definitely needs more of you to look at some of the problems we have in governance and find new ways for us to solve those problems,” he said.

 

“I want to see more of you develop applications that a government can use to aid its processes; to develop services, to deliver services to the people of Jamaica,” he added.

Gaps in training needs for workforce being identified

JIS: The HEART Trust/NTA is partnering with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to identify the gaps in the training needs for the workforce.

 

Portfolio Minister, Senator Ruel Reid, says he has also requested the private sector to highlight the areas of need.

 

The minister said this is necessary, “as we look at the emerging job opportunities, such as animation, business process outsourcing, hospitality, maritime and logistics”.

 

Teacher Training For New Curriculum Starts This Week

THE GLEANER:

Training for more than 12,000 public- and private-school teachers gets underway this week as the Ministry of Education Youth and Information (MOEYI) prepares for the roll-out of the new curriculum for primary and secondary schools.

 

The National Standards Curriculum (NSC) replaces the Revised Primary Curriculum (RPC) and the National Curriculum for Grades 7-9, formerly referred to as the Reform of Secondary Education (ROSE).

 

Scholarships for Persons to Teach Mathematics and Science

JIS: In its bid to boost the cadre of Mathematics and Science teachers, the  Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MEYI)  is offering scholarships to 500 suitably qualified persons.

 

They are being offered in collaboration with The Mico University College, and include 200 Mathematics Education, 200 Science Education and 100 Technical Vocational Education scholarships.

 

Schools Agree To Cooperate With Auxiliary Fees Policy

It appears groups representing principals and teachers have reached an amicable agreement with the education ministry regarding the controversial decision to abolish the payment of auxiliary fees at the high school level.

 

With the abolition of auxiliary fees the ministry has allocated some $5.3 billion to be granted to schools at the secondary level.

 

Since then, some school administrators have complained that the funding will not be enough to cover operational costs for the academic year.

 

Education Ministry Receives Furniture from the Joseph Assignment Global Initiative (JAGI)

JIS: The education sector has received more than 1,000 pieces of school furniture from the Joseph Assignment Global Initiative (JAGI).

 

They were handed over today (August 23) by representatives of the group to officials of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, at its Heroes Circle offices, in Kingston.

 

Discussions Under Way for CCTV to Link Schools and Transport Centre

JIS: Discussions are under way between the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information for the installation of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system that links the Transport Centre with various high schools in the Corporate Area.

 

This was noted  by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, during a back-to-school conference for Region One at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, yesterday (August 29).

 

12 More Schools to be Removed from Shift System

JIS: During the 2016/17 academic year, the Government will remove 12 more schools from the shift system.

 

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, notes that 14,395 students will be impacted.

 

Senator Reid was speaking at a back-to-school press conference, held on August 31 at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices in Kingston.

 

The institutions include three primary and junior high schools and nine high schools.

 

Ministry Partners With JCF to Ensure Students Attend School Safely

JIS:The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is partnering with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to ensure that students in sections of western Kingston can attend school safely.

 

In recent weeks, some communities in western Kingston have been affected by violence.

 

Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon Ruel Reid, told JIS News yesterday (September 6) that the JCF is providing additional patrols on the roads in those areas to ensure safety and security for the children and residents.

 

Parents Urged to Complete GSAT Registration Form

JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is imploring parents and guardians whose children will sit the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) in 2017 to ensure that they complete the registration or entry form by the deadlines set by the schools.

 

The Ministry, in a statement, said parents should now be in the process of completing the document.

 

Parents, who have not yet received a form, are advised to contact their child’s teacher immediately.

 

Education State Minister Endorses Stock Market Game

 

JIS: State Minister in the Education, Youth and Information Ministry, Hon. Floyd Green, has hailed the efforts of the Jamaica Stock Exchange to promote financial literacy  among high school students and teachers through its Stock Market Game.

 

“They (JSE) are innovators at heart. They have been…finding ways to ensure that as a country we get more financially literate,” Mr. Green said, noting that the game is helping to demystify certain principles and concepts regarding the stock market.

 

Inner-City Youth to Benefit from Internships

JIS: Youth from selected inner-city communities are to benefit from internships under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s (JSIF) Poverty Reduction Programme next fiscal year.

 

A sum of $349.8 million has been set aside in the 2017/18 Estimates of Expenditure for this and other initiatives under the project.

 

The selected young persons are to also benefit from development workshops to be offered.

 

Inner-City Youth to Benefit from Internships

JIS: Youth from selected inner-city communities are to benefit from internships under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s (JSIF) Poverty Reduction Programme next fiscal year.

 

A sum of $349.8 million has been set aside in the 2017/18 Estimates of Expenditure for this and other initiatives under the project.

 

The selected young persons are to also benefit from development workshops to be offered.

 

Inner-City Children to Benefit from GSAT Clinics

JIS: A total of 1,440 children from inner-city communities islandwide are to benefit from Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) clinics next fiscal year.

 

To be held in 26 schools/centres, the clinics will be carried out under the Jamaica Integrated Community Development Project.

 

The project has been allotted $700 million in the 2017/18 Estimates of Expenditure to carry out this task and other social services as well as infrastructural and civil works activities.

 

ECC Forms Partnership To Help Early Childhood Schools

JIS: THE Early Childhood Commission (ECC) recently formalised a partnership with Digicel Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide assistance to five early-childhood schools to become certified under the ECC’s 12 Operating Standards.

 

The schools are New Works Primary and Infant, Westmoreland; Upper Rock Spring All-Age and Infant School, Hanover; Pratville Infant Department, Manchester; Carisbrooke Infant Department, St Elizabeth; and Cassava River Primary and Infant Department, St Catherine.

Vauxhall High Host Open Day

JIS: The Industrial Arts Department of Vauxhall High School on Friday (March 24) hosted an Open Day to showcase the skills of secondary students preparing for careers in technical and vocational fields.

 

The institution was supported by students from Kemps Hall, Dunoon and Donald Quarrie Technical High Schools, who also mounted displays, some of which were a part of students’ School Based Assessment (SBA) projects for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination.

 

The Jamaica Library Service Embraces the Use of Technology in its Services

JIS: The library community has been evolving and remains quite relevant in a technologically-driven society through the array of services it offers to meet the demands of users.

 

The Jamaica Library Service (JLS) consists of 119 fixed locations, that is, 13 parish libraries and 106 branch libraries.

 

There is also a mobile library service which caters to some 370 communities island wide.

 

More than 3,000 Athletes at Boys and Girls’ Champs

JIS: Approximately 3,100 athletes from high schools islandwide will be on show at the annual Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston from March 28 to April 1.

 

A special opening ceremony will be held at the stadium on Friday, March 31, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, and other government officials are expected to attend.

 

Principal Looks to Transform Rural St. Andrew Primary School

JIS: Woodford Primary and Infant School principal, Jennifer Gordon, could hardly contain her joy.

 

After months of planning and preparation, the school was able to successfully stage its first literacy fair on February 23.

 

“It was a success; literacy was shining through everybody’s pores. Although it rained, the competitions happened, the students were engaged in all the activities the entire day,” she gushed to JIS News.

 

St. Joseph’s Infant Seeks Support to Meet ECC’s Operating Standards

JIS: Principal of the 123-year-old St. Joseph’s Infant School, located in downtown Kingston, Rosemarie Clarke, is seeking support to enable the institution to attain the Early Childhood Commission’s (ECC) 12 operating standards.

 

It has, so far, attained 77 per cent of the requirements for certification, but now needs help to meet the other 23 per cent, which covers building renovation, hiring nine additional teachers and preparation of documentation.

 

Mocho Primary Students Benefit from Literacy Programme

JIS: The Mocho Primary and Infant School in Clarendon has initiated a robust literacy programme that is geared at encouraging reading among students as well as ensuring that the institution remains a leader in the field.

 

Among the measures implemented are the Journalism Club; Pen Pal club; and the Read Aloud system, where teachers source books and loan to students on a weekly basis.

 

Parents are also encouraged to assist children in reading the publications.

 

Infant Department Opens at Allman Hill Primary and Junior High

JIS: The Allman Hill Primary and Junior High School in Above Rocks, St. Andrew, now has an Infant Department complete with amenities for early-childhood growth and development.

 

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information provided more than $2.1 million towards the project, which involved refurbishing an existing structure on the school’s compound to create classroom space, internal and external play areas and bathrooms.

 

Portmore Basic School Gets Support Towards Achieving Certification Standards

JIS: The Marlin Avenue Basic School in Portmore, St. Catherine, is a step closer to achieving full certification under the Early Childhood Commission’s (ECC) 12 Operating standards for Early Childhood Institutions (ECI).

 

On Monday, April 3, Deputy Director General of Regulatory Affairs at the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Rohan Campbell, presented at cheque valued at   $809,309.31 to the principal of the School, Margaret Campbell, to assist in the certification process.

 

Children’s Homes to be Renovated

JIS: Some $40 million has been allocated by the Government for renovation work at several children’s homes and places of safety this year.

 

This sum is in addition to the more than $80 million spent by the Government to renovate a number of children’s homes and places of safety in 2016.

 

The institutions identified for the refurbishing project include Granville Place of Safety, St. Augustine Place of Safety, Summerfield Child Care, Maxfield Park Children’s Home and Homestead Place of Safety.

 

150 Youth Being Trained in 3D Animation

JIS: Approximately 150 young people are benefiting from training in 3D animation, which will prepare them to take up lucrative jobs within the global industry.

 

The 10-month ‘Creative Industries Education and Employment Programme’ involves partnership between the Youth Employment in the Digital and Animation Industry (YEDAI) project and the Carlos Argüello (CA) Foundation.

 

The training, which got under way in February at Cornerstone Ministries in Kingston, involves five modules, with each module lasting for two months.

Union Gardens Infant Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Students

JIS: The Union Gardens Infant School in South West St. Andrew has taken steps to ensure that the nutritional needs of the nearly 70 students enrolled at the early childhood institution are being adequately met.

 

This is in keeping with Standard 7 of the Early Childhood Commission’s Standards for the Operation, Management and Administration of Early Childhood Institutions (ECIs).

 

Government to Take Over Private Early Childhood Institutions

The Government will be moving to convert private early childhood institutions to publicly-run facilities.

 

This was disclosed by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, who said the process is slated to begin in September this year, with the conversion of the Jamaica House Infant School.

 

The Minister was speaking at an awards function for the Project for the Advancement of Early Childhood Education (P.A.C.E.) Canada, at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel in St. Andrew on April 28.

 

400 More Trained Teachers for Early Childhood Sector

JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will be placing an additional 400 trained teachers in basic schools and infant departments as part of measures to strengthen early-childhood education.

 

State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Floyd Green, said the initiative will be done through the Housing, Opportunity, Prosperity, Employment (HOPE) programme.

 

“These are trained teachers, who will be assigned throughout the region. Clearly, we are going to target those schools that don’t have any,” he said.

 

Teachers Recognised in South West St. Elizabeth

JIS: Scores of teachers and principals in South West St. Elizabeth were presented with tokens of appreciation on Teachers’ Day (May 10), by State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green.

 

Key rings and greeting cards were given to the recipients, while Councillors of the area presented each school with a cake.

 

There are 17 primary, two high and 43 basic schools in the constituency, with some 530 teachers for the students.

 

Oversight Committee Established For Early-Childhood Sector

JIS: An Oversight Committee, headed by Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan, has been established to oversee the development of a comprehensive strategy to revitalise the vision for Jamaican children eight years and younger.

 

This was stated by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, during the Senate’s sitting on Friday, May 5.

 

John Rollins Success Scores with Calculation Time

JIS: Student achievement in mathematics at the John Rollins Success Primary School in St. James was not always something that could be spoken about with pride.

 

But this was before the introduction of the Calculation Time programme in 2011.

 

The initiative, which is a collaborative effort between the Governments of Japan and Jamaica, is designed to improve students’ knowledge and appreciation of the subject.

 

Teacher of the Year runs Spanish classes for colleagues

OBSERVER: LASCO/Ministry of Education Teacher of the Year 2016/17 Kerene Nelson has a vision in which primary schools across the island are assigned resident teachers of Spanish to give them the opportunity to learn Spanish as a second language.

 

The St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) teacher believes that adavnatage should be taken of primary school students' eagerness to learn at that age.

 

NCU Urged to Undertake More Agricultural Based Studies

JIS: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is challenging researchers at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) to undertake more agricultural based studies and innovations which would redound to the benefit of the country.

 

“If we manage to infuse technology and good management into our agricultural practises, we could increase our agricultural output tenfold and where you are in the centre of the island, I think you are well placed to lead that initiative,” he said.

 

Grade Four Students to Sit Literacy and Numeracy Exams on June 21 And 22

JIS: Thousands of students attending primary schools across the island are scheduled to sit the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy examinations on June 21 and June 22.

 

The Tests are administered to children to determine their literacy and numeracy, at grade four, in keeping with international requirements and standards.

 

For the numeracy segment, students will be tested on number operation and representation; measurement and geometry, and algebra and statistics. 

 

Coffee Production To Be Introduced In School Curriculum

GLEANER: Cabinet is looking into the possibility of setting up a coffee academy to commence production within schools in Jamaica.

 

Addressing yesterday's post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House, Minister of Education Youth, and Information Ruel Reid said the recommendation that the production of coffee be incorporated in the curriculum of local schools came out of a visit he and a four-member delegation made to Japan last week.

 

Minister Floyd Green leads a delegation to Commonwealth Youth Ministers Conference

JA delegation articulates youth priorities at Commonwealth Youth Ministers conference

A Jamaican delegation to the recently concluded Ninth Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (CYMM) in Kampala, Uganda, headed by Floyd Green, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI) has committed to keeping youth issues at the centre of public policy.

900 youngsters participate in National Children's Summit

JIS: MORE than 900 youngsters from institutions and organisations islandwide participated in the third annual National Children's Summit, which was held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Wednesday.

 

The event, which brings together children aged 12 to 18 for discussions on issues relating to their personal development, as well as matters of national and global interest, was held under the theme 'Children... Securing a Brighter Future Today for Tomorrow'.

 

Education Matters: Guidelines For PE And Contact Sports In Schools

GLEANER: As a new school year approaches, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information remains committed to its primary goal of providing formal education to all students. The ministry is also concerned, however, about the holistic development of all students through spiritual, physical, social and cultural activities. This is done through the curriculum and in the co-curricular activities in schools.

 

Revised Standards for Teacher Education Available by October

JIS: The revised standards for teacher education being undertaken by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) should be available by October of this year.

 

This was disclosed by Director, University Council of Jamaica (UCJ), Althea Heron, at the opening of the two-day Teachers’ Colleges of Jamaica annual Professional Development Workshop being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston from August 29 to 30.

 

Universal School Enrollment Up To Age 16

JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says Jamaica has universal enrolment of children in school up to age 16.

 

This is according to the 2015 Survey of Living Conditions, which measures the living standards of Jamaicans.

 

Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on Wednesday (October 4), Senator Reid said the findings also show improved enrolment among older age groups.

 

Use information to make a difference in the world — education minister

OBSERVER: Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid has charged young people to use information to increase their own knowledge and marketability and to make a positive difference in the world.

 

“It is a fact that we exist in an information age and knowledge economy, where our success is directly related to our capacity to effectively develop our intellect and use information intelligently to not only understand the world we live in, but also to take command of it and chart a positive way forward,” Reid said.

 

Deputy Chief Education Officer Urges Jamaicans to Do More to Protect Children From Abuse

JIS: Deputy Chief Education Officer, at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Lena Buckle Scott is encouraging Jamaicans to do more to protect the nation’s children from incidents of abuse.

 

She noted that parents and other stakeholders should be sensitised on how to report suspected cases.

 

Ministry Releases Ebooks For Early Childhood Learning

GLEANER: The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Information (MOEYI) recently released 12 additional interactive ebooks for early childhood learning on BookFusion. With the help of the Digicel Foundation and BookFusion, parents and students now have free access to interactive books that range from learning to counting to colours and pronunciation.

 

These ebooks give immediate feedback, speak, and they also read and sing along with children to give them an interactive and enhanced reading experience, according to a release from BookFusion.

Literacy, numeracy results show girls outmastering boys

OBSERVER: A total of 232 private schools with a sitting population of 4,365 students had 89.1 per cent mastery in the 2017 Grade Four Numeracy exams, compared to 64 per cent of the total public school students who achieved mastery. Nine point eight per cent of the private school students achieved almost mastery, compared to 27.1 per cent in the public school system, and just one per cent achieved non-mastery in private schools, compared to 8.8 per cent in the public school system.

 

Literacy, numeracy results show girls outmastering boys

OBSERVER: A total of 232 private schools with a sitting population of 4,365 students had 89.1 per cent mastery in the 2017 Grade Four Numeracy exams, compared to 64 per cent of the total public school students who achieved mastery. Nine point eight per cent of the private school students achieved almost mastery, compared to 27.1 per cent in the public school system, and just one per cent achieved non-mastery in private schools, compared to 8.8 per cent in the public school system.

 

Grade Four Test results in rural schools show literacy surpassing numeracy

OBSERVER: The percentage mastery figures for the better-performing rural schools across 12 parishes in the 2017 Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy tests are highlighted below.

 

Schools with very low school and grade four enrolment (under 30 students), while possibly achieving mastery of up to 100 per cent, were not included in this report.

 

ST THOMAS

 

More Students to Receive Tablet Computers

JIS: The Government is to spend $700 million to increase learning opportunities to students by providing them with more access to tablet computers and other information and communications technology (ICT)-based equipment, under the e-Learning Project.

 

The students will also receive support from teachers trained in the effective integration of such technology, which will be incorporated into the teaching and learning process.

 

$31-m Japanese grant to ease problems at Fair Prospect Primary, Black River High

OBSERVER: A Japanese Government grant for new classrooms will soon make life more comfortable for students of Fair Prospect Primary School who will no longer have to contend with termite-infested facilities and puddles that create obstacle courses whenever it rains.

 

Also, space problems at Black River High School will be eased as the St Elizabeth school has also received a grant from the Japanese Government to build additional classrooms to address overcrowding at the 48-year-old institution.

 

NYS Accepting Applications for HOPE Youth Summer Work Programme

JIS: The National Youth Service (NYS) is accepting applications for its HOPE Youth Summer Work Programme until April 13, 2018.

 

The programme will enable 14,000 young people to benefit from valuable work experience during the months of June, July and August.

 

The target group, aged 17 to 29 years, will be placed in various entities for a period of three weeks, where they will gain some of the necessary skills for the world of work.

 

Foster Care: Making a Difference in a Child’s Life

JIS: After losing both her parents in quick succession, Maxine Williamson found herself in an interesting situation.

 

The two children that her parents fostered had suddenly become her responsibility. Rather than having them return to the residential-care system, Ms. Williamson, who was living in Canada at the time, decided to return to Jamaica to take care of the children.

 

“I left my corporate job in Canada and came to Jamaica ‘cold turkey’, because I really wanted to provide a home for these children,” she tells JIS News.

Specialist Spanish Lecturer for Shortwood Teachers College

JIS: Shortwood Teachers’ College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) for the provision of a specialist lecturer in Spanish to bolster the College’s Foreign Languages Department.

 

The lecturer, who is a native of Spain, is slated to commence duties in the 2018/19 academic year, and will be assigned to the College for three years.

 

Stacey Taylor wins! Maths Teacher of the Year comes from Hatfield Primary

OBSERVER: Stacey Taylor of Hatfield Primary and Junior High School in Manchester is the 2018 National Mathematics Teacher of the Year.

 

The announcement was made at Mona Visitors' Lodge in St Andrew, on Wednesday, March 28.

 

Taylor was chosen from a list of 17 regional finalists and five national finalists. A total of 63 primary and secondary school teachers from across the six education regions were nominated for the award.

 

Prime Minister Calls on Parents to Desist from Keeping Children out of School

JIS: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is imploring parents engaged in the practice of withholding their children from school on some weekdays, to involve them in economic activities to generate household income, to desist from doing so.

 

“You’re not doing the child a favour (and) you’re certainly not supporting their full potential development by depriving them of one or two days of education,” Mr. Holness said as he launched activities for Workers’ Week and Labour Day at the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday (May 1).

New Curriculum for Intellectually Challenged Students

JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has developed a new curriculum for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities.

 

The document, which replaces the curriculum that was developed by the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID), focuses on five main areas: life skills, functional mathematics, language and communication, science, and physical education.

 

As with the National Standard Curriculum (NSC), information technology and the arts function as the principal drivers.

Students Receive Assistance from International Proxy Parents

JIS: Sixty-six students from 19 high schools are benefiting from scholarships donated by the International Proxy Parents (IPP), a charitable organisation whose members include representatives of the diplomatic corps.

 

The organisation has also provided assistance to children in Places of Safety.

 

Funds for the scholarships were raised at the IPP’s annual bazaar, held on Saturday (November 10) in the gardens of The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.