The MSJ Proposes the Following Specific Policies and/or Practices to Promote the Above and Advance a Framework For a New System of Education:
There needs to be an overhaul of the curriculum at every level of the education system consistent with the objectives laid out above. This must involve curriculum for the varied types of students, inclusive of those with special needs.
The academic and technical curricula ust form only one aspect of the school offerings. At every level, what some educationists refer to as the ¨hidden curriculum¨ must be presented to students, but not in any¨hidden¨ manner. This ¨hidden¨curriculum should teach student values, principles, the importance of rational thinking, conflict management, collectivism.
All the skills and abilities must enjoy the same degree of importance within the curriculum, so that all students, regardless of their emphasis will feel that they have something worthy to contribute to the society. Equal opportunity for all of our students should be the mantra.
The curriculum should reflect the values and aspirations of the ordinary man and woman of the society. Here the role of labour must not be glossed over, but must be properly analysed for its contribution to the development of the society as a whole. The curriculum should seek to destroy the class bias of our present education system.
Special emphasis to be placed on innovation, science and technology to provide impetus and direction to the economy.
More practical courses within college and university programmes to provide student with hand-on experience and to better prepare them for a competitive job market.
There must be a re-emphasis on the teaching of languages within the education system. In addition to the traditional languages of Spanish and French, students must be introduced to the languages of commerce within the modern world.
Student Development Centres/Homework Centres should be set up in every community for the purpose of assisting those students who may require additional instruction to comprehend the syllabus and who may need other forms of assistance to achieve their goals.
Neighbourhood schools have an obligation to accept any student who lives in their zone.
There must be in every community a system for pre-school/kindergarten/early childhood education designed specifically to nurture and promote our children´s social-emotional wellbeing, and their mental, language, and literary skills.
Schools should become the centre of their communities, offering extended services to both their students and their communities. As such schools must be accessible to the community whenever possible.
A system of zoning should be established in the case of public primary and secondary schools. The notion of inequity must be rooted out at the level of the schools.
Special out of school arrangements must be made for suspended and difficult students, without depriving them of the opportunity to learn.
Special provisions, both physical and technical, should be made for differently-abled individuals at every level of the education system
Education system should follow a policy of integration so that students with special needs could attend regular classes and receive assistance.
Extensive consultation with all sectors of the society to determine the content and direction of the education system: The Union, the PTA, the psychologists, counselors etc.
Our education must be based on a philosophy of history, For this reason, our youth must begin to understand the history of their society at the earliest age possible. Students must be taught their history from kindergarten through elementary, high schools and colleges and universities and other educational institutions in the country. At every level, Caribbean history must become compulsory for our students.
Our teachers must be treated as professionals and enjoy all of the benefits appropriate for their profession.
There must be intense and consistent professional training, retraining and development for all of our teachers, inclusive of those who lecture at the tertiary level institutions.
No teacher must go into the classroom to teach if he/she is not trained, unless accompanied by a trained colleague or master teacher. There needs to be a fundamental change in the approach to teaching and learning at the primary and secondary levels. Class and behavioural management must be a central part of the training.
There must be a system of School Management training as well for those who are pace in charge of the schools.
A robust system of career and counsel guidance needs to be set up, particularly at the high school level.
Excessive government control over government assisted tertiary institutions should be decreased.
Support for a National and a Regional/CARICOM Commission on tertiary education to facilitate, among other things, the movement of relevant skills within the region.
The tertiary institutions should more clearly differentiate from each other in their specialisations and strengths so as to provide the appropriate and less stressful method of assessment should be established for moving students from one level to the other.
Emphasis must be placed on the informal processes of learning and preparation, such as adult education, experiential learning and on the job training.
A greater emphasis should be placed on Adult Education. In this respect, there ought to be greater government assistance for the Adult Literacy Tutors Association (ALTA) as they continue to bring tangible benefits to adults who may, for one reason or another, missed the opportunity to develop their literacy, both written and spoken.
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