Samuda Says Education Officers Have Important Role to Play

“You are our eyes and ears on the ground. We are not telling you to drive any fear in anyone, but there has to be some level of anxiety whenever it is known that an education officer is visiting a school for inspection. That is the only way we can ensure best practices and accountability,” he said. Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, says Education Officers have a very important role to play if students and teachers are to give of their best and perform at an optimum level. Mr. Samuda, who was speaking at the Jamaica Association of Education Officers meeting at the Iberostar Hotel in Lilliput, St. James, on August 21, said it is to this end why he is charging all Education Officers to be more vigilant and hands-on when they pay inspection visits to schools, so as to “give us an accurate assessment” as to the performers and the non-performers. Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, says Education Officers have a very important role to play if students and teachers are to give of their best and perform at an optimum level.Mr. Samuda, who was speaking at the Jamaica Association of Education Officers meeting at the Iberostar Hotel in Lilliput, St. James, on August 21, said it is to this end why he is charging all Education Officers to be more vigilant and hands-on when they pay inspection visits to schools, so as to “give us an accurate assessment” as to the performers and the non-performers.“You are our eyes and ears on the ground. We are not telling you to drive any fear in anyone, but there has to be some level of anxiety whenever it is known that an education officer is visiting a school for inspection. That is the only way we can ensure best practices and accountability,” he said.Mr. Samuda also argued that students too will benefit from being a part of a well-run school, noting that there is empirical evidence to show that institutions that have proper systems of checks and balances tend to do better than those with the ad hoc make it up as-you-go-along type of approach.The Minister said it is clear that for Jamaica to have the type of high quality education system that everyone seeks, then all hands must be on deck.He said that while there will always be differences, the answer cannot be where those who are charged with building minds, so as to secure the nation’s future, “are going in different directions.”“I want us to have regular meetings and go through your reports together,” the Minister told Officers.“In that way we can recognise the problems from early and fix what we need to fix. We can’t just be pumping money into things that are not working. We have a duty to the people of the country that they are indeed getting value for their hard-earned money,” he said.Mr. Samuda said the Ministry will continue to engage all stakeholders into decision- making, acknowledging that everyone has to be made to feel that they are a part of the process and that their inputs will be taken into consideration.The Minister added that he has never wavered from the belief that Jamaican students are among the best in the world and that educators continue to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that remains a top priority.“For our students to evolve into successful stories on the global stage, we have to lay that foundation here at home…give them that quality start,” Mr. Samuda emphasised. Story Highlights read more

52 High Schools Participating In Twinning Programme

The programme aims to expose students to academic and extracurricular programmes that are not currently available at their own schools. Some 52 high schools are now participating in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s Twinning of Schools initiative.The programme aims to expose students to academic and extracurricular programmes that are not currently available at their own schools.It will also give teachers and student leaders an opportunity to share ideas and best practices with their colleagues in other institutions.Among the participating schools are Ardenne High, Pembroke Hall High, Haile Selassie High, Campion College and Holy Trinity High in Kingston and St. Andrew.Minister with responsibility for Education, Hon. Karl Samuda, in his remarks at the official launch of the 2019/20 school year at the Ardenne High School on Thursday (September 12), said the initiative will positively change the perceptions held about some schools.“The fear that a lot of people might have, privately, that it’s a cultural crossover, it isn’t. There are many students at this institution (Ardenne High), considered an Ivy League institution, that are from the same communities as students from Kingston High and Haile Selassie,” he pointed out.“Our mission is to make sure that those schools are improved to a level where, when a student or a parent sees that their child has been assigned to that school, there is no apprehension,” he added.Mr. Samuda noted that the teaching body in Jamaica is “very competent and committed” and “it is just a question of the support that they will get from the private sector, the churches and from other organisations that are willing to support our school and our educational system”. Some 52 high schools are now participating in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s Twinning of Schools initiative. It will also give teachers and student leaders an opportunity to share ideas and best practices with their colleagues in other institutions. Story Highlights read more