Recently, Education Minister Andrew Holness has been in the news on many occasions whether it’s rating primary school principals or really speaking his mind on the GSAT exam. Andrew Holness has not been strong in his capacity and has not advanced in the right areas as Minister for Education.
When Holness was in opposition he held the position of the opposition Minister of Education which would have given him sufficient knowledge of the shortcomings within the ministry and would have provided him with a framework for changing policies. What did we see from this minister? Holness appears on the news blaming everyone but himself for not leading to the eradication of inequality and policy change in his ministry. We owe it to the younger generation to develop an education system that is fair and that will provide them with the best education to make them productive in this rapidly changing world.
There are clearly problems with the GSAT exam syllabus that need to be fixed. Annually we complain about how burdensome the curriculum is, and the many errors involved in testing as sixth form students are judged on the subjects to be covered at the higher levels. Next year at this time, we will still discuss the flaws in the exam. Are we seeing a cycle here?
Teachers colleges cannot be blamed for accepting teachers who are not up to par. Holness has the ability to influence teachers’ colleges to improve their standards to benefit the educational product. I am frustrated with holiness blaming it for highlighting truths we already know. Holness must stand firm and bring about the changes that need to be made to improve our education system to give our children the best opportunities.
Next year at this time we shall announce that the requirements in teachers’ colleges have been improved; Changes have been made to the curriculum making the exam suitable for Year 6 students; The ratio between teacher and students has been reduced among other things. When are we going to be serious and hold Andrew Holness accountable for the shortcomings of the Ministry of Education? After all, he is responsible.