Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Scarce resources allocated equitably in education, says Henry-Wilson
Jamaica Observer
Monday, January 13, 2003


HENRY-WILSON. ministry keen on quality and relevance

Education Minister Maxine Henry-Wilson has said that scarce resources in the education sector would continue to be "allocated equitably to educational institutions".

Arguing that the ministry's concern was that of quality and relevance, Henry-Wilson said there was the "need to change some of the ways we organise ourselves, and where there are scarce resources in education we have to find a way to make them more generally available in all institutions".
While acknowledging calls for more of the budget to be allocated to education, Henry-Wilson said the reality was that one could not only be concerned about education, but the general state of the society.

"You can't have a good education system if crime is rampant and if there is not a healthy population," she said. The minister was addressing the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica 2003 Annual Conference last week at the Jamaica Grande Hotel in Ocho Rios, St Ann.
The conference was held under the theme, "The Learning College".

Noting that community colleges were an extremely critical part of the entire education network, Henry-Wilson said the initial concept was about community empowerment, involving two dimensions, where the community was a location as well as a resource to promote and catalyse development.
"But the community was also assumed to have its own characteristics, resources and needs, and therefore you are forging a synergy between an educational institution and the optimisation of the community as a location," she added.

Pointing out that the concept of community colleges had been expanded and educators were moving with the change, Henry-Wilson said "this is so in recognition of the fact that the very concept of community itself has changed, because whereas in the past Knox or Moneague were almost self-contained communities, now the people are part of a global community, and their exchanges tend to be far more with the cable television".

The three-day conference was attended by delegates from the United Kingdom, United States and the Caribbean. Among the topics addressed were, Realigning for Organisational Change; Strategies for Admission, Retention & Student Development; Early Intervention for Students at Risk; and Library Information & Communication Technology - Critical Tool for Student/College Development.