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Part II – Analytic Sections

6. Progress towards Goals and Targets

Early Childhood Care and Development

Target: Expansion of early childhood care and development activities, including family and community interventions, especially for poor disadvantaged and disabled children.

Indicator 1

IGross enrolment in early childhood development programmes, including public, private, and community programmes, expressed as a percentage of the official age-group concerned. If any, otherwise the age-group 3 to 5.

In Jamaica, the early childhood and development programme caters for children in the age-group 3 to 5 years. Early childhood education is primarily a community provision, with government-subsidized community basic schools accounting for 93 percent of the enrolment at this level. (See Tables in the Appendix) Government-owned infant schools and departments as well as independent (private) nursery and kindergarten schools also participate in the provision, catering for the remaining 7 percent.

During the decade of the nineties pupil participation at this level has shown significant increases. Trend data generated from the Jamaica: Education

Statistics 1989/90 to 1996/97 and supplemented by Jamaica: Survey of Living Conditions for the same period, indicate that at the beginning of the decade (1990) the enrolment at this level ranged between 76.8 percent and 77.0 percent. By 1993 it increased to 81.4 percent. Despite the fluctuations during the ensuing years, the rates remained within 80.2 percent and 84.0 percent, with the end of period GER being 7.2 percent higher than that of 1990. (See Table 1 page 31).

Over the review period the rates fluctuated and fell to a low of 76.8 percent in 1992, recovering by 4.6 percent and 7.4 percent in 1993 and 1994 respectively.

Although the rates have shown incremental declines during the subsequent years, the gross enrolment rate of 84.2 percent recorded in 1998, the highest since 1994, indicate some level of recovery by this sector.

Disaggregation of the data by gender revealed that the gross enrolment rate for girls, though marginal, was consistently higher than that for boys, with the disparity highest (2.5 percent) in 1994.

Table 1. presents the gross enrolment rates at the early childhood level by gender for the period 1990 to 1998.

Table 1. Gross Enrolment Rates at the Early Childhood Level

1990 –1998

Years

Gross Enrolment Rates

 

Total

%

Female

%

Male

%

1990*

1991

1992

1993*

1994

1995

1996

1997*

1998

77.0

77.3

76.8

81.4

84.2

83.5

80.2

81.3

84.2

85.6

84.1

80.7

82.9

83.0

79.8

* Data extracted from Survey of Living Conditions (1997)

Indicator 2:

Percentage of new entrants to basic grade 1 who have attended some form of organized early childhood development programme.

Although much of the data in hand covers the public education

system, additional information as suggested by the Survey of Living

Conditions (SLC) (see Appendix) points to the fact that the majority of

children are indeed exposed to some organized early childhood development

programme.

BASIC EDUCATION

Target:Universal access to, and completion of, primary/basic education by the year 2000.

InI

Indicator 3

Apparent (gross) intake rate: new entrants in basic grade 1 as a percentage of the population of official entry age.

Government is the major provider of basic education, accounting for 96 percent of the enrolment at this level. Nine years of basic education is provided for pupils in the age-group 6 – 14 years.

Table 2 presents the Apparent Intake Rate of pupils by gender for the period 1990 – 1996.

Table 2 Apparent Intake Rate for 1990-1996

Years

 

Total

Female

Male

1990

 

1992

 

1993

 

1994

 

1995

 

1996

 

135.1

 

133.0

 

130.0

 

133.6

 

134.0

 

34.2

 

132.4

 

128.2

 

126.2

 

130.2

 

130.1

 

131.9

 

137.8

 

137.6

 

133.5

 

136.9

 

137.9

 

131.6

 

Analysis of the data for the period under review indicate that an extremely high proportion of pupils who enter Grade 1 annually, are either over-aged or under-aged. The excesses remaining well above 30 percent (with the exception of 30.0 percent in 1993). Males consistently account for the highest proportion of over enrolment with the closest disparity between both genders recorded in 1996.

Trend analysis indicate some level of recovery with excesses declining incrementally between 1990 and 1993, inching down from 135.1 percent to 130.0 percent respectively. A reversal in the gains made was recorded in 1994, with excesses moving up by 3.6 percent and worsening in the subsequent years, resulting in the 1996 excesses being 4.2 percent worse than that of 1993.

Although the excesses were a feature of both sexes, the proportion of over-aged and or under-aged boys, was consistently higher than that for girls. Worthy of note is that although in 1990 the rate for boys was 5.4 percent higher than that for girls, the period ended with the gap closing to less than one percent in 1996.

Table 3 presents the proportion of under-aged and over-aged who enter Grade 1 for the period under review – 1990-1998.

 Table 3 Proportion of Over- aged and Under- aged New Entrants to Grade 1 - 1990-1996

Years

Under aged

Over aged

1990

 

1992

 

1993

 

1994

 

1995

 

1996

 

1.6

 

1.5

 

0.8

 

3.3

 

3.0

 

4.5

24.4

 

23.3

 

22.2

 

21.9

 

22.4

 

21.0

The data in Table 3 indicate that over-aged pupils account for the higher proportion of the excess apparent intake rate annually, accounting for almost one-fifth of the grade 1 enrolment. Attention must be drawn to an emergent pattern started in 1993 with between 3.0 and 4.5 percent of under-aged pupils entering Grade 1.

Indicator 4

Net intake rate: new entrants to basic Grade 1 who are of the official basic school-entrance age as a percentage of the corresponding population.

The official entry age to the primary level is 6 years. The earlier findings related to the Apparent Intake Rate (AIR) indicate that on the average, just under one-quarter of pupils who enter Grade 1 are either less than or older that 6 years old. The data presented in Table 3 brings to attention a practice which has gone unabated for the 6 year period for which data are available.

Table 4 presents the Net Intake Rate by gender for the period 1990-1998

Table 4 Net Intake Rate at the Basic Level - 1990-1996

Years

Total

Female

Male

1990

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

75.4

70.0

74.0

73.4

75.0

74.9

74.7

68.6

73.0

73.4

75.6

74.7

76.0

71.0

75.0

73.4

74.4

75.1

The data reveal that the highest proportion of 6 year old pupils to enter Grade 1 was in 1990 when the NER was 75.4 percent. The lowest representation of 6 year olds was in 1992, where the rate fell by 5.4 percent to 70 percent. Although there was a 4 percent recovery in 1993, the trend has not been maintained, but rather experienced fluctuation with the 1996 rate marginally lower (0.1 percent) than the pervious year.

With the exception of 1.2 percent difference in favour of females, the proportion of 6 year old boys entering Grade 1 was consistently higher than that of the girls. In 1990, the 76.0 percent NER recorded by the boys was the highest single rate recorded during the period under review.

The general decline and fluctuation observed in the overall rates was also evident when the data were disaggregated by gender, with the 1996 rates for girls declining to as low as 68.6 percent in 1992 and recovering gradually to the original 1990 rate of 74.7 percent. The situation for the boys was more positive, showing an annual increase between 1994 and 1996 ending with a rate of 75.1 percent or 0.4 percent higher than that for girls.

Figure 1 is a graphical comparison of the Apparent and Net Intake Rates for 1990 to 1996.

(Please note that data for one year was unavailable, however, the general trend is indicated)

Indicator 5

IGross enrolment ratio (GER)

Basic education, which includes the six primary Grades (Grades 1-6) and the first three secondary Grades (Grades 7-9) is offered to children in the age group 6-14 years. The impact of automatic age-grade promotion was evident during the period under review, with the rate inching down gradually (with minor variations in 1994), from 98.9 percent at the beginning of the decade to 94.0 percent by 1995 as shown in Table 5.

Of significance, is that the girls who recorded the highest GER of 100.8 percent in 1990, slipped to the lowest rate of 93.4 percent by 1996. The rate for boys

appeared to be much more stable, remaining slightly over 96 percent for the three consecutive years, 1993-1995 and declining to 94.6 percent in 1996.

Table 5 presents the Gross Enrolment Ratio by gender for the period 1990 – 1997.

Table 5 Gross Enrolment Ratio at the Basic Education Level by Gender - 1990 - 1996

Years

Total

Female

Male

1990

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

98.9

94.3

96.0

95.0

95.7

94.0

100.8

93.4

95.6

93.9

95.3

93.4

97

95.2

96.5

96.1

96.2

94.6

 

Indicator 6

Net Enrolment Ratio

During the period under review, a relatively high proportion of pupils aged 6–14 years was enrolled at the basic education level. Table 6 is a representation of the net enrolment for the basic level by gender for 1990 – 1996.

The highest NER to be recorded during the decade was 94.8 percent in 1990. By 1992, the rate experienced a decline of 4.6 percent, slipping to the all time low of 90.2 percent. During the ensuing years, 1993-1995, the NER failed to recover and fluctuated between 90.8 and 90.7 percent.

Of concern is the 1996 rate, which was the lowest ever of 88.3 percent or 6.5 percent below the 1990 rate.

Analysis of the data by gender reveal that 1990 was the best year for both genders with females recording a NER of 96.5 percent which was 3.4 percent higher that that for boys. In 1993, the rate for girls slipped by 5.4 percent, plunging to below 90 percent compared to the 1993 rate for boys, which was 91.2 percent.

The trend in favour of the boys continued through the period with the NER for boys remaining within 91 percent for the period 1992 to 1995 compared with the rate for girls, which fluctuated between 89.1 percent and 90.2 percent. Of significance is that, whereas the girls started the decade with a NER which was 3.4 percent higher than that of the boys, the boys recovered throughout the period and in 1996 recorded a rate of 88.9 percent or 1.2 percent higher that that of the girls.

Table 6 presents the Net Enrolment Ratio by gender for the period 1990 – 1997.

Table 6 Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) for the Basic Education Level for 1990-1996

Years

Total

Female

Male

1990

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

94.8

90.2

90.8

90.7

90.8

88.3

96.5

89.1

90.2

89.6

90.2

87.7

93.1

91.2

91.3

91.8

91.3

88.9

Figure 2 is a graphical comparison of the Gross and Net Enrolment Ratios at the Basic Level - 1990 - 1996

Figure 2 Comparison of Gross and Net Enrolment Ratios 1990 – 1996

I

Indicator 7

Public current expenditure in basic level education (a) as a percentage of GNP and (b) per pupil, as a percentage of GNP per capita

The share of the value of the total national production of goods and services devoted to basic level education has improved by one percent between 1990 and 1997 moving to 3.7 percent. However detailed analysis of the data indicate that within the eight year period the expenditure on basic level education experienced declines falling to as low as 2.0 percent in 1992. The recovery recorded in 1995 has been maintained to the period under review.

Table 7 presents the data for 1990-1997.

Table7: Expenditure as a Percentage of GNP and GNP Per Capita

1990-1997

EAR

EXPENDITURE AS % G.N.P.

EXPENDITURE PER PUPIL AS % G.N.P.

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

2.7

2.6

2.0

2.9

2.2

2.8

3.0

3.7

13.3

13.3

10.7

15.5

12.1

15.3

17.4

21.0

The average cost per pupil in relation to the country’s GNP has shown significant growth during the years under review moving by 8.7 percent

between 1990 and 1997. As with expenditure as a percentage of GNP there was some level of fluctuation with 1992 recording the all time low of 10.7  percent.

Indicator 8

Public expenditure on basic level education as a percentage of total public expenditure on education.

Analysis of the data shows that basic level education received the lion’s share of the total expenditure on Education, with the proportion devoted to this level exceeding 50 percent in all years despite the 2.5 percent decline between 1990 and1997. Of significance is the gradual decline during the last two years of the review.

Table 8 presents the percentage of total education expenditure – 1990 - 1997

Table 8: Expenditure as Percentage of Total Education Expenditure

YEAR

EXPENDITURE AS % OF TOTAL

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

57.4

55.7

55.7

58.8

53.7

58.3

54.8

54.9

Indicator 9

Percentage of primary school teachers having the required academic qualifications.

The data for this indicator show that all teachers (100 percent) in the education system satisfy the required matriculation standards of having 4

CXC or GCE passes including Mathematics and English, a teachers’ college diploma or teachers’ certificate or a post graduate diploma in educat

Indicator 10

Percentage of primary school teachers having the required academic qualifications.

On the overall, there has been a decline in the proportion of primary school teachers certified to teach according to national standards. The data indicate that in 1996, the proportion of certified teachers was approximately 4 percent less than in 1992.

Although significant gains were made in 1994 with 82.4 percent of teachers certified this trend was not maintained for the subsequent years.

Disaggregation of the data by gender indicate that the proportion of certified female teachers was consistently higher than the national rates as well as their male counterparts in the system. Table 9 presents the proportion of teachers certified to teach, for the period 1990 – 1998.

Table 9 Percentage of Certified Teachers 1992 - 1996

Years

Total

Male

Female

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

80.0

78.7

82.4

77.0

76.1

73.2

70.4

67.7

66.8

64.5

81.7

79.5

83.9

78.0

77.3

Indicator 11

Pupil/teacher ratio in Basic Education (PTR)

Table 10 Pupil/teacher ratios in public schools

Year

Enrolment

Teachers

Ratios

1990

486,667

14,777

32.93

1992

454,993

16,147

28.18

1993

460,335

16,045

28.69

1994

452,780

17,727

25.54

1995

453,541

17,518

25.89

1996

441,891

17,870

24.73

Please note that the information in Table 10 reflects the status in the public schools only as data for private schools is not available.

 

Indicator 12

 IRepetition rates by grade

Table 11 Percentage Repetition Rates for Males and Females

Years

1

2

3

4

5

6

Avg.

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

 

4.5

6.0

4.8

4.7

4.6

 

1.6

2.1

1.8

1.7

1.5

 

1.1

1.3

1.4

1.3

1.0

 

1.0

0.9

1.3

1.2

0.9

 

1.6

1.8

1.6

1.5

1.5

 

7.5

10.6

8.8

9.1

8.6

 

1.9

2.4

2.2

2.1

1.9

 

Disaggregation of data by gender revealed that males consistently higher  repetition rates than girls in all grades except in grade 6. Figure 3 is an illustration of the trends noted for 1996.

Figure 3 Comparative Repetition Rates for Males and Females for 1996.

Indicator 13

ISurvival rate to grade 5 (percentage of a pupil cohort actually reaching grade 5)

The Grade 5 survival rates in excess of 100% suggest that more pupils than were originally enrolled in 1987 and 1991 survived to 1992 and 1996 respectively. This may be explained by the absence of current data for  private schools. In addition, historically, students from private schools enter the public school system at this grade. Despite this however the system appears to be efficient as reflected in its low repetition and almost minimal drop-out rates. This positive trend is a feature of boys as well as girls as shown in Table 11 and Figure 4.

Table 12 Percentage Survival Rates for Males and Females

 

Grades

Years

1

2

3

4

5

 

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

 

 

100

100

100

100

100

 

104.4

101.3

100.8

100.8

103.8

 

 

105.5

99.5

100.7

98.7

105.7

 

107.5

97.9

99.6

94.3

105.4

 

105.5

92.5

95.8

88.6

103.1

Figure 4: Comparative Percentage Survival Rates for  Males and Females

 

 

Indicator 14

Coefficient of efficiency (ideal number of pupil years needed for a pupil cohort to complete the basic cycle, expressed as a percentage of the actual number of pupil-years).

Table 13 Co-efficient of efficiency for grades 5 and 6 (1992 – 1996)

Years

Grade 5

Grade 6

 

Total

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

96.2

82.0

84.1

78.5

89.1

90.4

79.1

80.4

77.3

86.7

102.4

85.1

88.1

79.7

91.5

 

107.3

92.8

94.9

88.4

103.1

102.0

92.9

92.5

88.4

101.5

112.9

92.7

97.4

88.4

104.8

ADULT LITERACY

TARGET: Reduction of the adult illiteracy rate (the appropriate age-group to be determined in each country) to say, one –half its 1990 level by the year 2000, with sufficient emphasis on female literacy to significantly reduce the current disparity between male and female illiteracy rates.

Indicator 17: Adult literacy rate: percentage of the population aged 15+ that is literate.

The Jamaica Movement for the Advancement of Adult Literacy (JAMAL), is a government agency having as its mandate, the provision of opportunities for the improvement of literacy among the population 15 years and over, through non-formal adult education channels. The National literacy survey conducted in 1994 found that 75.6 percent of the population 15 and over was  literate with the rate for females being 81.3 percent compared to 69.4 percent  for males.

Indicator 18: Literacy Gender Parity Index: ratio of female to male literacy rates. The Literacy Gender Parity Index is 1.2, calculated from data collected by the National Survey 1994.

TRAINING IN ESSENTIAL SKILLS

Essential skills are those learning tools (such as literacy, oral expression, numeracy and problem-solving) coupled with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required by Jamaican citizens to survive, to develop their full capacities, to live and work in dignity, to participate fully in development to improve the quality of their lives, to make informed decisions and to continue learning.

In keeping with Government’s thrust to provide basic education and vocational skills training opportunities for youth and adults outside the formal school system with a view to promoting self-employment and economic self-sufficiency, several programmes were continued, while others were initiated to foster these objectives. During the reporting period 1990 – 1998, the following initiatives were undertaken, and the effectiveness of these programmes with respect to behavioural changes are also outlined.

The Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART) Trust/National Training Agency (HEART Trust/NTA), a statutory organization formed in 1982, is mandated to administer and equip all public sector vocational training programmes to produce adequate numbers of skilled and semi-skilled workers to meet the requirements of sectors which are relevant to national development priorities.

Heart Trust/NTA programmes are available to all youth across the island over 17 years of age. However, informal skills training programmes are provided to youth below the age of 17 at the Learning for Earning Activity Programme. Pre-vocational/continuing education programmes are also provided at Vocational Training Centres (VTC’S) for individuals who do not satisfy the normal matriculation requirements for HEART Trust/NTA entry level (Level 1) programmes. This programme provides a pool for prospective HEART trainees. Collaboration with industry is a focus of the training agency in the development and use of occupational standards. Additionally, there has been articulation between programmes and matriculation of HEART/NTA graduates to the University of Technology and to the College of Arts, Science and Education (CASE).

The training programmes of HEART Trust/NTA are financed from a mandatory three per cent training levy placed on private sector firms. Most programmes are offered at Levels 1 to 3 (entry level, journeyman – level 2 – and at the technician/supervisory level – level 3 -)

Technical and vocational (Tech-Voc) programmes are offered in 30 areas within a framework of occupational standards-based approach to skills training using a variety of modalities: institutional, on-the job and community-based. The institutional-based training programme, at eight Academies, 16 Vocational Training Centres (VTC’s) spread across the island and remedial classes in literacy and numeracy in the VTC’s for individuals who are below a Grade 9 level of education.

On-the job training is provided through the School Leaver’s Training Opportunities programme (SLTOPS) and to a lesser extent the Apprenticeship Programme, while community-based training is delivered through Skills 2000 Project and Special-Needs Programmes.

Over the past 10 years, HEART Trust/NTA has implemented strategies aimed at increasing access and creating a cohesive articulated training system. A modular approach has been adopted to increase access and to allow for flexibility in the delivery training system. Each module is designed to be self-contained so that successful completion of training in any one module ensures the acquisition of the minimum skill levels for performing the activity under employment conditions.

Enrolment

During 1993- 1998 some 74,236 persons were enrolled in the HEART/NTA programmes. Of this, 58.7 % were females. Average annual enrolment was 12,373, with the highest being 19,544 in 1998. Apparel and Sewn Products, Commercial Skills, Hospitality and Construction skills were among the more popular areas for trainees. (See Appendices)

Output

During the period 1990-1998, some 61,810 (66.6 per cent females) individuals graduated from the various training programmes. The average annual output was 6,868 and the highest output of 10,996 occurring in 1998.

Mirroring enrolment data, apparel and sewn products skills, building skills and commercial skills were the more popular areas of training, providing 60 % of the graduates.

The Social Development Commission (SDC) is the agency with responsibility for structuring services for youth and communities in Jamaica. The organization promotes, manages and guides schemes, which may directly or indirectly serve the general interests and social improvement of the people of Jamaica. It currently operates a number of programmes to meet this objective. One such programme is the Community Centre Programme which operates throughout the island in which young persons were trained in home-making and craft. The duration of these programmes range from six months to one year. Approximately 2,000 individuals benefited from this programme between 1990 – 1994.

Another major programme is the Integrated Community Development Programme (ICDP) introduced in 1995. It is a participatory community-based self-help programme with the main objective of community organization and efforts towards problem solving. Under the ICDP, some 10,720 individuals benefited from training programmes organized in selected communities in 10 parishes across the island. In 1998, work continued in 15 communities and involved projects designed to increase the income-generating capacities of the communities. Among them were the Meylersfield Food Fish Project, Bethel Town Bee-Keeping Project, Mile Gully Coffee Farms, Waltham Basket Weaving, Bromley Vegetable Farms, Highgate Dolls and Passley Gardens Hatchery.

The GOJ/Bee-Keeping Project (Phase 1 1987 – 1992; Phase 2 1993 – 1998) is another initiative of the SDC which provides training to persons in the rural area in the art of bee-keeping. On completion of a two-week training programme, participants are provided with material to start their own production. As a result of this intervention, the number of bee-keepers in Jamaica increased from 228 in 1987, to 1,720 in 1998.

The National Youth Service (NYS) the Special Training and Empowerment Programme (STEP) and Operation Strategy to Rehabilitate Inner-City through Viable Enterprise (STRIVE) and Skills 2000 were specifically designed to provide the nation’s youth with attitudinal and employable skills and to inculcate a sense of service and discipline.

The National Youth Services was launched in 1995 and aims to bring about changes in values and attitudes and inculcate a sense of service and discipline among some 123,500 of the country’s unemployed youths between the ages of 17 and 24. All participants in the programme take part in a four-week orientation programme where they are exposed to life-coping skills. Followed by job placement for a period of six months with a stipend. To date a total of 9,500 youths have participated in the programme with a female to male ratio of 2:1.

The Special Training and Empowerment Programme (STEP I) was launched in 1991 to provide access to at-risk youth in the age group 17 – 24, and is an integral part of the government’s poverty eradication programme. Recruits to

the programme undergo either a 6-week residential programme, or a 9-week non-residential programme in areas of Life Coping Skills, computer literacy, communication, mediation and conflict resolution, entrepreneurial management and substance abuse. To date some 1,636 persons have graduated from STEP.

STEP II was launched in 1997 targeting Jamaicans aged 18 – 35, to improve their earning capabilities and facilitate access to vocational training employment or continuing education. During 1998, some 775 individuals received training in the areas of Security Services, Hospitality Management and Small Business Operations.

Another SDC initiative, Operation Strive (Strategies to Rehabilitate Communities through Viable Enterprises) was launched in 1996 and targets inner-city communities in the corporate and other urban area. Beneficiaries are provided with training and employment in bee keeping, day care center management, garment construction, food preparation, plant nursery and landscaping. Some 17 communities in 10 parishes are involved with approximately 1000 persons benefiting.

The main objective of the Skills 2000 Project is to assist some 7,500 individuals to establish Micro-enterprises following a period of approved vocational and/or entrepreneurial training. Support under the post-training component comprises credit for the establishment of small business ventures and assistance with monitoring of businesses to ensure sustainability. The

major skill areas are apparel and sewn products, art and craft and hospitality. To date 33 training projects have been implemented in eight parishes. Some 3,247 trainees (76% females) had been admitted in the programme up to the end of 1998.

One recent expansion of basic education has been the Upliftment Adolescent Project (UAP). This project began in 1996 and has an end date of the year 2000. The programme aims to provide training in four areas: literacy, remedial education, reproductive health, personal and family development and vocational/technical skills development. The programme is implemented by NGO’s and targets 11,000 at-risk adolescents, mainly in the 10-18 age group.

Special Education-Vocational Programmes

Vocational training for young adults with disabilities is provided by a number of private voluntary organizations and NGO’s, such as the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Woodside Clarendon School for the Deaf, School of Hope, Abilities Foundation, 3D Projects Private Voluntary Organization Limited (PVO) and the McCam Child Care and Development Centre. The Lister-Mair-Gilby Comprehensive High School (School for the Deaf), the Jamaican Association for the Deaf, and the School of Hope provide vocational training for students with disabilities in the formal school system.

Non-formal training is provided through the 3D Project which provides community-based training in horticulture and paper-making. This is based in four parishes, St. Catherine, Manchester, St. Thomas and St. Mary. The PVO provides community and home-based training in the remaining parishes. Another organization providing a home-based training programme with a parent education component is the Clarendon Group for the Disabled, which is funded by the Lilianne Fone of the Netherlands. Some 6000 persons with disabilities were supported in these facilities.

The Jamaica 4-H Clubs is a statutory organization in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, with objectives to mobilize, educate and train young persons between the ages of 9 and 25 years in agriculture, homemaking, leadership and social skills which will prepare them for careers in agriculture and agro-related occupations. These objectives were achieved through two programmes; clubs which target training projects in schools, homes and communities; and training centres which emphasize agriculture and related skills. A total of over 40,000 members received training in general agicultural skills and 10,000 persons were trained in special skills.

The Peer Counselling Association (PCA) has been in operation since 1990 and provides guidance and assistance to young persons in a number of depressed communities in the Corporate Area on such issues as Reproductive Health; Family Life Education; Conflict Resolution; and Environmental Preservation and Protection through workshops and information sharing. Some 2000 youths have befitted from activities of the PCA.

Youth Opportunity Unlimited (YOU), a voluntary youth organization has been providing positive interventions for at-risk, in-school adolescents, since

its establishment in 1991. YOU provides training in substance Abuse and Anger Management Education, Reproductive Health Education, and Parenting Education. Over 900 adolescents are now registered in one or more of the YOU Programmes in 10 Corporate Area and three Portmore schools.

The Mel Nathan Institute (MNI) an agency of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands has been providing community-based training programmes to residents of inner-city communities for the past 20 years. The MNI offers a one-year vocational training programme in food preparation, garment construction, electrical installation welding, wood work and auto mechanics. To date some 500 persons have benefited from these programmes.

The Workforce Development Consortium (WFDC) provides labour market services such as skills upgrading in public and private sector entities. Interventions were made at 162 companies, 5,010 workers received training, while 217 individuals were placed in jobs. Approximately 1,700 workers benefited from outplacement services in eight companies which were in the process of downsizing/closure. Partnerships were established with a number of organizations including the Motor Repairer’s Association of Jamaica, Courts (Jamaica Limited) a household furniture and appliance establishment

The Housecraft Training Centre where 58 domestic workers were trained in Hospitality and Home Management skills.

The Kingston Restoration Company (KRC) focussed its community development programmes on teenagers, youth and young adults. The Necessary Educational Training (NET) Programme was established, targeting street and out-of school children in the Jones Town and Central Kingston area. NET will provide educational, spiritual and social development opportunities to disadvantaged youth for the betterment of themselves and their communities for maximum sustainable development and nation building. Some 50 students were registered in the programme to date.

Another initiative has been the Youth Educational and Support System (YESS), a scholarship leadership development programme, benefited over 30 students. Of the 180 registered in the programme, 29 graduated from high school and four students are registered in tertiary institutions. KRC continued the community-policing programme aimed at community participation in crime prevention and detection in inner-cities. Over 200 students from Central Kingston and Jones Town participated in the annual summer camp, which provided opportunity to enhance social relations, and participated in social activities.

The most recent programme aimed at reducing unemployment among the youth has been the Lift Up Jamaica Programme. This is a programme designed to employ 40,000 people aged 18 – 30 by the end of the year 2000 at a cost of Ja$2.5 billion. The long-term objective is to socialize young people into accepting the value and importance of working according to time, quality, teamwork and accountability.

There are three basic features of the programme, which if achieved, will have significant impact on national development. (a) It is aimed at harnessing and improving the infrastructural capacity of the island (for example, rehabilitating watersheds, maintenance of roads, restoration of buildings) (b) Compulsory training is a pre-condition for employment and (c) The identification of projects and individuals recruited is done through a process of consultations with all relevant sectors of the society.

Impact of Training on Employment

Employed Labour Force by Training Received

During the period under review, 1990 – 1998, the impact of training on employment was observed with increases in the number of trained male and female in the labour force. The number of employed males with vocational training certificates increased by 32.0 per cent, and those with professional training (degrees and diplomas) increased by 63.0 per cent. Those with apprenticeship and on-the-job training increased by 68.p percent and 13.0 per cent respectively. While the number of employed females in Jamaica with professional training (Degrees and diplomas) increased by some 68.0 percent, whereas those with apprenticeship on-the-job training and certified vocational training, increased by 49.0 per cent, 47.0 per cent and 6.0 per cent respectively. (See Table 13 in Appendices)

Employment by Age and Gender

An analysis of employment by age and gender over the past nine years (1990 – 1998) revealed that the annual average male employment increased by approximately 8.0 per cent with the annual average female employment increasing by 5.0 per cent (Table 14). Unemployment rates among the youth increased in males 14 – 19 years old, by 9.5 percentage points, with males 2 0- 24 years increasing by 3.6 percentage points. Among females 14 – 19, the unemployment rates increased by 8.1 percentage points, while for the age group 20 – 24 years, the unemployment rate in 1998 was the same as it was in 1990 (Table 15 in Appendices). 

EDUCATION FOR BETTER LIVING

Education for better living addresses the increased acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living and sound and sustainable development, made available through all education channels including the mass media, other forms of modern and traditional communication, and social action, with effectiveness assessed in terms of behavioural change.

Early attempts at public service broadcasting by the government are evidenced by the existence of the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation in 1959, and the now defunct Education Broadcasting Service (EBS) operated out of the Ministry of Education until 1984. Since 1997, the operation of Public Education channels have been at the forefront of discussions to divulge knowledge, skills and attitudes required by families and individuals for a better living. Information pertaining to the social well being of the public continues to be disseminated through the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) and JAMPRESS, the government’s press agency.

The objectives include the encouragement and propagation of values and attitudes generally within the society and in particular regarding respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and the responsibilities of the individual to society; respect for observance of legal and social codes and stability in social life, the imperative to positively influence youth and family and to strive for the proper education and ideas on matters of general public interest, and the provision of information essential to social life, as well as health entertainment, contributing to a wholesome life structure, and a gentler society.

Though more narrowly focused on government programmes, the Jamaica Information Service has traditionally provided government information as a public service, both electronically, via television and radio programmes, as well as in the written format, through publications of brochures, newsletters and other like documents. JIS has time placements on all radio stations, as well as airtime on two major television stations, where public service announcements and advertisements are made.

Government information is also disseminated through a weekly full-page advertisement (Weekly Bulletin) in the island’s leading newspaper – The Gleaner with an average readership of 450,000 persons on a daily basis.

In 1998, a proposal for the establishment of a Public Service Broadcasting (PBS) system in Jamaica was tabled in Parliament. The objectives include the encouragement and propagation of values and attitudes generally within the society and in particular, regarding respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and the responsibilities of the individual to society; respect for the observance of legal and social codes and stability in social life, the imperative to positively influence youth and family to strive for the proper education and ideas on matters of general and public interest, and the provision of information essential to social life, as well as health and entertainment, contributing to a wholesome life structure, and a gentler society.

The pursuit of these objectives takes place within the context of the Government’s social policy, including the promotion of science and technology, as well as an emphasis on the productive and economic growth and particularly on education. The main principles on which this is based are that:

  1. The programmes and services of Public Service Broadcasting must be available to all citizens in the nation, regardless of their location or financial status;
  2. Lifelong education is the founding goal of public broadcasting and must be preserved
  3. Public Service Broadcasting must contribute to popular consciousness and nation-building, and should be a key agent of cultural development and exposure;
  4. Public Service broadcasting is fundamentally a local institution, rooted in the social, educational cultural and spiritual fabric of communities across the country.

Other initiatives for developing and maintaining a system of education for better living have taken place in a variety of forms. The National Council on Drug Abuse, Peace and Love in Schools (PALS) and Sistren, a theatre-styled groups of actresses, drawing on a number of non-traditional methods, developed various activities aimed at disseminating information on different social issues throughout the island in schools and to the wider public.

PALS was initiated specifically to resolve conflicts in schools peacefully and to promote a culture of peace in the classroom which in turn would spill over to the wider community at large.

Sistren has put on plays portraying topical issues such as "The Campaign Against Violence Against Women And Children" and child sexual abuse and incest. Plays are put on at various venues around the island where people of all ages, young as well as old attend to see Sistren perform.

One of the more current recent projects concerned with education for better living is that of the Teenage Mothers Project operated by the Bernard van Leer Foundation and the Centre for Early Childhood Education and the University of the West Indies, (Mona). Teenage pregnancy has reached alarming rates in Jamaica, and the statistics are alarming enough to have implications for national planners.

The project has served to address the needs of the teenage mothers, their families and young children. The mothers receive academic and skills training in a structured programme, along with counselling and a strong community support system. As a result of the success of this project, other satellite projects have been established.

Basic numeracy and literacy is offered through the JAMAL Foundation. The Foundation works in partnership with other organizations to implement non-formal adult education programmes aimed at improving the literacy, numeracy and life skills of adults. Training in life skill/coping skills are

provided in the area of community, family, job, self and leisure to develop in persons the necessary skills to cope in various aspects of life and livelihood.

The target audience is island-wide with over 11,000 persons enrolled and radio programmes are used to transmit literacy and numeracy lessons. Resource materials including books, newspapers and tabloids cover social, current events, financial and health-related issues relevant to all citizens of the country.

7.Effectiveness of EFA Strategy, Plan and Programmes

With regard to improvement in learning achievement, consistent with the diagnosis in the earlier Five Year Education Plan 1990-1995, which stated that approximately 30 percent of primary graduates were functionally illiterate, The Draft Education Plan 1995-2000, in its summary of diagnosis at the primary level states inter alia that:

The provision of quality education at the primary level has not kept abreast of quantitative achievements, resulting in children being ill equipped to

access secondary education. The thrust of the education sector is therefore, the provision of quality primary education for all.

Despite serious attempts to provide adequate pupil space, relevant teaching/learning and support materials, a real threat to the achievement of universality at the primary level, is the low average annual daily attendance rate of approximately 70 percent, recorded consistently for the most part of this decade. According to the Draft Five Year Plan, 1995-2000, irregular attendance plagues primary education with absenteeism higher among boys than girls, higher in rural than in urban areas and lower on Fridays than on any other day. The Plan alludes to socio-economic factors as the main reason for this chronic level of absenteeism in the system. Consistent with this, are the findings of the Survey of Living Conditions (SLC) 1998, which states that ‘money problems’ was the most prevalent reason given by parents for not sending their children to school regularly.

The inequality of provision at the lower secondary level is a major problem. Equity at this level is still to be achieved, a common curriculum has been developed and is being implemented.

Student performance at the primary levels can now be monitored since the National Assessment Programme (NAP) has been developed. Starting 1999, schools have been provided with student scores in four subjects and a system of continuous assessment is to be developed and implemented over the next 4-5 years. The Junior High School Certificate, at Grade 9 is not yet available

to all students but a system of continuous assessment for Grades 7 – 9 is being developed.

8. Main problems encountered and anticipated

Even though the country has made great strides in providing educational opportunities for all its citizens, concerns have been voiced about the level of employment and the level of literacy of graduates from the educational system.

The main problems encountered and anticipated are:

Unemployment, particularly among the young people remains one of the main areas of concern of the government. There are two significant points to make in relation to Jamaica. One is that of a youth population of 709,980 aged 15 – 29, approximately 123,500 are unemployed. Secondly, of this number over 65% have no formal qualification.

It has been recognized by the government and a recent statement by Minister Burchell Whiteman, Minister of Education & Culture, reinforces the point

that:

"... no modern society can provide sustainable employment for a large number of young people who are neither numerate, literate or without social skills.

If after 7 to 10 years the formal education system does not produce young people who are numerate, literate and possess the required social skills, there can be no full-range remedial programme to guarantee them or prepare them for employment responsibilities."

This is recognized as a major problem, and the government is making an effort to stem the problem. For one, education has received the largest budget allocation over the past few years. Secondly, there have been increased efforts over the past six years to reform, modernize and strengthen the education and training system of Jamaica. This was captured in the

Prime Minister’s in his 1999 budget speech when he made the following observation:

"We all accept that good work is being done in many of our schools – but the consistency of quality and the uniformity of output still elude us."

Other problems encountered during the decade include the lack of sufficient financial resources to sustain some of the programmes at acceptable levels. In addition, because of the fluctuations in the Gross Domestic Product, the allocation of resources to the education has also fluctuated.

The maintenance of the quality of education throughout the country has also been mentioned as a problem. A number of reasons have been put forward to account for the discrepancies. For one, there has always been the issue of rural – urban migration. This inability to attract teachers to the rural areas because of the lack of good infrastructure (poor roads, poor transportation) in many rural areas compounded by hilly and many times inaccessible terrain, has added to the problem of rural – urban migration of teachers which in turn has affected the retention of good and high quality teachers in the rural areas.

9. Public Awareness, political will and national capabilities

Public awareness and support for basic education is generally strong and the government is committed to providing basic education for its youth. In the 1990’s, much effort had been made to develop its capabilities in measurement and testing. The public in general, wants the nation to excel educationally and they feel that there should be equal access to basic education. The Ministry of Education and Culture gets frequent media and airtime. The Minister of Education and Culture, for example, speaks to the entire nation at least once per year (usually at the beginning at the school year) and makes frequent appearances on public television and on radio programmes, appealing to parents, teachers and students for cooperation.

However, on the side of the national capabilities, local funding of some educational programmes and resources is still inadequate even though education took the largest portion of the public expenditure in the 1999/2000 budget.

10 General Assessment of the Progress – economic difficulties


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