DR Franklin Johnston, senior advisor to Education Minister Rev Ronald Thwaites, has linked the poor performance of the nation's students to a decline in teaching standards. In a article under the headline Underperforming teachers in yesterday's Daily Observer, Dr Johnston said that the country's education system had been underperforming for years and called on the private sector to help raise the standards. Below are some comments from our online readers:
Aren't the guys and gals behind the criminal activity — the "bigger heads" — educated? Criminality is a moral issue, a honesty issue.
Here we go again! The virtues of a solid education being touted, yet when the majority of these kids seek a tertiary education they run into the roadblock of funding due to the high costs of attending universities!
Despite their best intentions, the majority of Jamaican parents are unable to adequately fund their child's education (God help you if your child qualifies for medical school) and it is almost pointless applying for a student loan based on the reports coming out of the bureau! It is heartbreaking for a parent when the child did what you asked of him/her and he proudly presents his acceptance into a university only to be told that you can't afford to send him/her.
Blame teachers, appeals for greater private sector involvement; this is nothing new. Why are these people getting millions of tax dollars in consultant fees, again?
@ koficampbell. My sentiments exactly.
The failing education is as a result of a national crisis demonstrated in vast inequity (opportunities and justice), poverty and unemployment, which contribute to the type of home environment that our children are brought up in. Fact, you will invariably find that a child doing well is one where the parent(s) realise the value of education and instil that in their children from an early age. Most parents cannot put the focus on their children as household economics is a real struggle... now the problem comes right back to the culpability of a Government that has failed the people.
For history and social studies, and some other courses like religion, there is no need for specialisation. But for courses such as mathematics, language arts, reading, the sciences, and so on, the teachers should have specialised training.
A child who grows up under a harsh, love-less condition is more likely to gravitate to disruptive and anti-social behaviour.
"It is easier to build strong and educated children, than to repair broken men or women". Frederick Douglas
The teachers can only produce good products from the quality raw material they get to work with. The level of indiscipline that the teachers have to deal with is above their physical and psychological capacity. If they get disciplined students, they will be motivated to do a better job. I am a product of Nonsuch Primary School — during the 50s. We had dedicated teachers, and students had to stay in line.
Dr Johnston's focus on a decline in teaching standards to account for our system's widespread underperformance is both shortsighted and lacking critical thought. Whereas there is merit in citing a decline in teaching standards, the senior advisor should be expected to give a more comprehensive analysis of the monster of widespread underperformance.
Which is worse... under-performing teachers or under-performing politicians?
Mr Johnston must place the blame at the feet of the authorities at the top for continuing with failed policies. Jamaica can be a prosperous country if we can get close to being an educated society. Take, for example, the thousands of communities around. But only sporting competitions are encouraged among them but not one educational competition. SMH.
Yesterday's teachers taught today's teachers, and these will teach tomorrow's teachers, hence, a downward spiral. This has been going on for years; we all know that. Then, of course, we have to have a highly paid consultant to tell us so.