Opposition Spokesperson for Education and Human Resource Development, Mrs. Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert today expressed serious concern about the arrogant manner in which the Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites approaches Education policy. Her comments comes on the heels of a recent call by Mr. Thwaites for increasing the contact time between Teachers and students by raising the number of days in the school year from its present 190. Mr. Thwaites in arguing his case criticized the “generous period of leave” for teachers.
Mrs. Dalrymple-Philibert called on Mr. Thwaites to fully research the pros and cons of Education policy proposals and consult with education stakeholders including teachers who form part of the nation’s backbone before making grand announcements. She said that whilst Mr. Thwaites position has its merits he is putting the proverbial cart before the horse as there many issues that must be addressed before serious consideration can be given to piling on additional days unto the school year.
- Abolishing the school shift system, which shortchanges thousands of students
- Building more schools and classrooms to in order to reduce the high pupil to teacher ratio
- More targeted approaches to reducing poverty echoing the calls of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness at the recent Jamaica 50 special sitting of the House. She pointed to the need for an improved PATH program, especially in light of the fact that some half of Jamaica’s school children are from poor households, and;
- Fast tracking the National Parenting Support Commission Act in part as a mean of improving parenting skills
Mrs. Dalrymple-Philibert reminded Mr. Thwaites to take a methodical and consultative approach to Education policy as former Ministers of Education have done.