USD $600,000 GRANT FROM JAPANESE GOVERNMENT AND IDB USED IN PART TO IMPROVE TEACHER QUALITY IN JAMAICA
Ten Teacher Training Institutions (TTIs) have been made beneficiaries of the newly-developed internal quality assurance standards created to expand and equalise capacity building within teacher education facilities.
The initiative led by the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information is part of the two-year-long Japan-funded Technical Cooperation through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). It seeks to improve teacher quality in a number of key areas critical to student performance in Jamaica. The new standards and protocols are seen as a timely solution to bolster the role of teachers in light of the adventitious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education systems worldwide.
“The teachers are very important in this whole ecosystem that we have in the education sector. They are the ones, in the first place, who need to be trained to adequately provide the lessons while integrating technology, as well as to carry out the required quality assurance,” shared Honourable Fayval Williams, Minister of Education, Youth & Information during a tête-à-tête with host Dr Terri-Karelle Reid at the official virtual launch of the internal quality assurance standards for TTIs on October 30, 2020.
Key project partners who participated in the launch included the Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Mr Masaya Fujiwara; Lead Education Specialist at the IDB, Mrs Cynthia Hobbs; Commissioner at the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (J-TEC), Dr Dameon Black; Dean of the Teachers’ Colleges of Jamaica, Dr Garth Anderson; and Quality Assurance Officer at Church Teachers’ College Mrs Karen McMillan Tyme who also serves as Chairperson of the Joint Quality Assurance Committee.
“The internal quality assurance standards allow our Teacher Training Institutions to look at themselves, to benchmark themselves against the rest of the world and against each other. Our teachers’ colleges have produced good teachers over the years but it is our imperative to continue improvement,” asserted Mrs Daynea Facey, Programme Manager of the Japan-funded Technical Cooperation at the launch of the new standards.
Among the 10 TTIs who participated in the project’s first phase are Shortwood Teachers’ College, St. Josephs Teachers’ College, G.C. Foster College of Physical Education, Bethlehem Moravian College, Church Teachers’ College, Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College, Moneague College, the College of Agriculture, Science & Education, the Mico University College, and Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts.
The internal quality assurance standards, which were primarily developed through J-TEC, by consultants in association with the institutions, speak to core tenets of teacher-education including organisation and management of learning, curriculum design and delivery, and infrastructure to support the needs of varied learners. The advantage of TTIs adhering to the internal standards is that student-teachers who enter the system will be exposed to the same quality of preparation for work when they become in-service teachers.
To ensure implementation of the internal standards, J-TEC along with the Tertiary Unit of the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information will continue to support the institutions and the Quality Assurance Officers tasked with monitoring the standards in the TTIs.
Additionally, digital standards and protocols handbooks have been created and will be published on the websites of J-TEC and teacher education facilities. Printed copies will also be made available to the colleges.