Refining Education Jamaica

If we are going to achieve economic growth in Jamaica, part of that process must involve revamping the education system.  It is not acceptable to continue having students who are not functionally literate.  It is therefore time to rethink our education strategy and to use our resources more effectively and efficiently.

The only way to improve our education system in the shortest possible time is through the use of modern technology in the schools.  Jamaican schools have fallen so far behind the rest of the world because we are not using computers in our schools.  The reality of the world today is that technology has taken over and changed every single job.  If we are producing graduates who do not know how to use a computer then we are automatically starting at a disadvantage.  We can no longer postpone the use of technology in our schools and instead need to press forward with a plan to have every school use computers and the internet.

Today’s children who are growing up on tech devices such as phones and video games often find it difficult to learn by means of the blackboard.  There is so much software available today that can be used to help students learn.  This software can be used from year to year reducing the need for the purchase of books.  Software also has the added advantage of allowing students to learn at their own rate.  It would be much easier for a teacher to assist a large class of students who are using computers than it is when working on a blackboard.  In addition computers allow students to be able to practice on their own before and after school without the assistance of a teacher.

Internet Access

Access to the internet can solve the problem of schools that do not have sufficient library resources by letting students have access to the vast resources of the internet.  In addition there are numerous free sites that can assist students in the learning process.  Of course to implement technology will require the teaching process to be changed.  Teachers will themselves have to learn how to use the computer and will have to assist students in acquiring the discipline to work on their own.  In the future this could also lead to the situation where the student could even learn from home where all that would be needed is a connection to the school’s network.

The use of technology can help to provide education to remote areas of the country or to schools which do not have sufficient teachers.  Long distance learning is a common practice in many countries today and is cheaper than having to build a school and to fill it with teachers. 

Yes we are not used to this idea but one thing is certain the old ways that we use are not working and everyone agrees that some new things need to be done.

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3 Responses to “Refining Education Jamaica”

  1. Issues says:

    Technology is great and can support our education’s development. However it can also present a problem if basic literacy is not first addressed. I also think that Jamaica as a developing is fearing pretty well where technology is compared to the rest of the world. Having taught both at home and overseas I see similar issues where the school who can afford to have all the resources while others suffer. yes it happens in developed countries also. My concern however is where you mentioned ” In addition there are numerous free sites that can assist students in the learning process’. This is not necessarily a great idea in all cases as this itself requires trained personnel to monitor its use and ensure that the content of the site is up to the required standard and is appropriate for our setting. Not quite sure what you meant by “sufficient” teachers however distance learning requires resources (expensive ones) and is more appropriate for certain levels. Guess I am just having issues with this post. Sorry.

  2. Camay says:

    I will agree with you that our students need to be able to compete in the global marketplace and therefore need to be functionally literate, and might I add ‘numerate’ as a separate facet. I also believe that teachers need to themselves welcome technology as a means by which they can help students to have increased access to education and be able to use this technology in engaging student in meaningful tasks. Much of our classroom culture, as well as that of other stakeholders in Education would need to change.
    My final comment and maybe the one I consider to be of greatest importance is that – the pedagogies used by many of our teachers today in many ways cannot be improved by simply adding the computer and its related technologies to our classrooms. As a matter of fact it may well multiply the issues we now have.
    I am in strong support of your ideas but would like to say that teachers Pedagogical Content Knowledge may be where our energies need to be focused- though not as easily measured as the access to computers.

  3. I share your views totally. The blackboard or even white board is almost obselete. The newer technology will stimulate better learning. I met a student the other day who is said to be be illiterate but he is very computer savvy and masters his cellphone very well. It caused me to wonder if it is the teaching methods or other isssues that have prevented him from learning how to read. I believ the use of technology/metyhod will definitely enhance the learning process and propel the student to want to learn.

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admin Posted by: admin September 20, 2011 at 7:00 am