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School Boards to Be Modernised

School boards across Jamaica are set to undergo a modernisation process, following the development of a revised set of procedures.

The updated procedures are in keeping with the recommendations of the Professor Orlando Patterson-chaired Jamaica Education Transformation Commission (JETC), which has put forward some 365 actions for the improvement of the education sector.

Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, in her contribution to the 2024/25 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (May 8) said that the revised measures require a review of the performance of school boards at the end of each board cycle, with the introduction of a monitoring and evaluation framework.

“It calls on us to train school board members, streamline the current school governance arrangements and to acknowledge our school board members,” she said.

She noted that there is a proven and positive relationship between effective governance and student performance.

“Good governance is a key element in the ability to steer an education system as complex and young as Jamaica’s with multiple actors each playing varied roles. We want to ensure quality education and we know that it depends on the existence of good governance,” she said.

Mrs. Williams pointed out that school board members constitute one of the largest group of volunteers in Jamaica.

“They total almost 10,000 and they give many hours and, oftentimes, they give of their own resources to help our schools. They have the responsibility for ensuring fidelity to the Education Act and Regulation. It is against this background that the service they provide is valued and acknowledged,” she said.

Mrs. Williams noted that the National Council on Education, which has overall responsibility for the governance portfolio, is working to strengthen school boards across Jamaica.

“We are undergoing a strategic review of the National Council currently, because their job is an important one,” she said.