JIS: Several of the island’s teachers are being trained in preparation for the roll-out of the new National Standard Curriculum in September.
This was disclosed by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, during the opening ceremony for the Excellence in Science Experiential Education (ExSEED) Jamaica 2016 workshop, at The Mico University College in Kingston, on July 12.
Under the new system, emphasis will be placed on project-based and problem-solving learning, with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics/Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEM/STEAM) integrated at all levels.
The approaches will allow the learners to have hands-on experience that is similar to real-world situations, making the learning experience less abstract and more concrete.
Senator Reid said the new curriculum will enable all students from the primary to the secondary level to be better equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for the 21st Century work environment.
He emphasised that in a rapidly changing social and technological environment, it is important that teaching is kept abreast of current and effective trends in education.
“Having demonstrated in other jurisdictions the ability to bring together the competencies and skills that make for a more efficient school product, the STEM methodology is expected to spawn in Jamaica a new type of school, different from and more efficient than our current educational institutions,” the Minister said.
Senator Reid noted that several high schools have been transformed into STEM academies, “so that parents and students can select those schools specifically, because they want to focus on those areas”.
The STEM academies are Kingston, St. Andrew, Herbert Morrison, St. Mary, Dinthill, Dunoon and Vere technical high schools, Manchester High and Sydney Pagon High.
The Minister said every effort is being made to ensure that the country’s education system is customised and specifically targeted to meet the country’s labour market needs.
He urged teachers at the workshop to acquire as much knowledge as possible, so they will be more adept in their areas of specialisation.
In the meantime, the Minister said technology will have to be used to address the shortage of teachers, particularly in the areas of Mathematics and Science.
“It means, therefore, we are going to organise the delivery of these contents across the school system, so that they are delivered at the same time,” he said.
At the workshop, the Ministry provided the teachers with computer tablets.
The ExSEED programme is designed to enhance integrated STEM education in schools. A team from Loma Linda University visited the island to engage the teachers who attended the workshop.
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, addresses opening ceremony for the ExSEED Jamaica 2016 workshop at The Mico University College in Kingston, on July 12. The ExSEED programme is designed to enhance Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in schools.