TREND Gallery

TREND GENERAL

What is TREND, and what does it aim to achieve?

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TREND stands for Transforming Education for National Development. It is an ambitious initiative led by the Ministry of Education and Youth in Jamaica, designed to revolutionize the country’s educational system. TREND’s foremost goal is to position Jamaica as a globally competitive nation by enhancing the quality and effectiveness of education across all levels, from early childhood learning to tertiary education.

How is TREND different from previous education initiatives in Jamaica?

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TREND builds upon the recommendations presented in the Patterson Report of 2021, which encompass over 365 recommendations for education reform. This initiative focuses on comprehensive improvements throughout the education system, addresses specific shortcomings, and aims to make Jamaica’s education sector more globally competitive.

What is the timeline for the implementation of TREND?

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 TREND is set to be implemented in phases, starting in 2023 and continuing until 2030. These phases align seamlessly with Jamaica’s Vision 2030 development goals.

What are the key principles underlying TREND?

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TREND operates under seven core principles, including improving governance and accountability, emphasizing early childhood education, enhancing the quality of teaching and curriculum delivery, elevating the higher education sector, focusing on technical and vocational education, upgrading education infrastructure, incorporating technology into education, and ensuring sustainable funding and accountable financial management.

How can TREND lead to a brighter tomorrow for Jamaican education?

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TREND’s comprehensive approach addresses various aspects of education, from early childhood to tertiary levels. By improving the quality of education, making it more accessible and equitable for all learners, through the enhancing of the curriculum and teaching methods, TREND aims to produce better-equipped students who can contribute to the nation’s sustainable development and global competitiveness over the long term.

What are the Seven Pillars of Change, and what are their goals?

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TREND’s Seven Pillars of Change are as follows:

  1.  Governance and Accountability: The goal is to create efficient educational systems, better outcomes, and enhanced strategic decision-making.
  2. Early Childhood Education: Improving the quality and equitable access to quality early childhood education to stimulate Excellent Learner Performance from the start.
  3. Teaching, Curriculum & Teacher Training: Empowering our educators to create learning experiences that transform minds and lives for national and global impact will facilitate better learning for better living.
  4. Tertiary Sector: The goal is to ensure that Jamaica’s higher education sector is coherent, equitable and well-resourced, developing critical-thinking lifelong learners who are creative, innovative, thoughtful, and productive, contributing to the country’s sustainable development.
  5. Technical and Vocational Education (TVET): Integrating TVET into the secondary school curriculum, improving the delivery of training, and using skills training to support the development of entrepreneurial skills will set us up for long term success.
  6. Infrastructure and Technology: Providing physical learning spaces that deliver equitable access and international standard resources to all learners, will set Jamaica on a path to being more globally competitive. Additionally, designing schools with adequate technological capabilities will equip Jamaica’s learners to optimise natural and artificial intelligence for personal gain, as well as national and global growth.
  7. Finance: Paying keen attention to optimising educational budgets
  8. and resources, to guarantee greater results from the early childhood sector to tertiary level learning.

How much will TREND cost the country?

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TREND’s Seven Pillars of Change are as follows:

The Government will fund the transformation of the education sector by assigning up to 1.5% of the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) up to the year 2030.

GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY

What is the purpose of the Education Transformation Oversight Committee (ETOC)?

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ETOC is an independent multi-stakeholder body that has been appointed to monitor and oversee the implementation of education reform measures. It will develop annual work plans, report achievements against targets, and ensure that education reform remains a national priority.

Why is a strategic review of the Ministry of Education and Youth (MoEY) necessary?

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The review is necessary to identify inefficiencies in the MoEY structure and operations, ensuring that it is better equipped to address the challenges and goals of the education sector.

What is an Education Management Information System (EMIS)?

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EMIS is a data management system that seeks to handle  large volumes of data on students, schools, and teachers. It provides real-time information on investments per school, teacher remuneration, and allocations, among other aspects of education.

Why is a Data Analytics department essential in education reform?

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A Data Analytics department is crucial for analyzing the significant volume of education-related data generated daily, allowing for informed policy decisions and programme improvements.

What is the purpose of a Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Unit?

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This unit ensures better policy formulation and more effective programmes and resource allocations by monitoring and evaluating education initiatives and their impact .  The M&E framework has been developed to ensure that all the activities that are being implemented are on track as well a to provide transparency to the transformation effort.

How will the proposed organizational review change the culture at the MoEY?

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TREND’s Seven Pillars of Change are as follows:

The review aims to address cultural issues, including fear and complacency, by restructuring the organization and fostering open communication and efficiency

What are the main recommendations for changing the structure of the Department of School Services?

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The recommendations include devolving more responsibilities to regions, better resourcing regional offices for district school management, and considering centralized and shared services using technology.

How will Education Officers’ roles be adjusted?

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Education Officers will transition to School Improvement Officers with a more strategic and change management role. Their performance targets will be linked to improvements in school performance.

How will the funding model for primary and secondary schools change to enhance equity?

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 The new funding model will allocate resources based on the varying socio-economic backgrounds of schools and the needs of students, ensuring more equitable treatment.

What changes are proposed for the selection and operation of school boards?

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The proposals include vetting and training of board candidates, term limits for board chairs, and non-monetary recognition for board members’ service.

CURRICULUM ASSESSMENT

What is the purpose of reviewing the National Standards Curriculum (NSC), and how will it be aligned with the national educational philosophy and Vision 2030 goals?

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The review of the NSC aims to ensure that it reflects the national educational philosophy and Vision 2030 goals while addressing current socio-cultural issues.

Will there be changes in the curriculum to include social and emotional learning for children?

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Yes, there will be a review of schools’ curricula to incorporate social and emotional learning.

 How will the effectiveness of the NSC and its implementation be evaluated?

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The effectiveness of the NSC will be evaluated through a task force or research-based study commissioned to assess various aspects of the curriculum and its implementation.

What are the plans for integrating ICT into primary school education without making it the primary method for teaching?

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Primary schools will be equipped with ICT, and the use of technology will be integrated seamlessly into teaching. Tablet distribution schemes will be targeted at the primary level, and in-service training will focus on ICT use in teaching.

How will alternative curriculum pathways be developed for students, and what role will assessments play in this?

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Alternative curriculum pathways will be developed to accommodate students’ strengths, and assessments will be adapted to reflect these pathways.

How does Jamaica plan to improve social protection for children in poverty?

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Research will be conducted to assess social protection coverage for children from  low socio economic families and communities Investment will be prioritized in schools located in areas with a high concentration of children from poor backgrounds.

OUT-OF-SCHOOL FACTORS

How does Jamaica plan to improve social protection for children in poverty?

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Research will be conducted to assess social protection coverage for children from  low socio economic families and communities Investment will be prioritized in schools located in areas with a high concentration of children from poor backgrounds.

What measures will be taken to expand social protection support for students, and how will it be coordinated?

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 A coordinating mechanism will facilitate school administration of social protection support, and initiatives like Past-Student week will increase investment in schools.

How will the capacity of teachers be enhanced to meet the cognitive and socio-emotional needs of students?

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Training programmes will be conducted to increase the capacity of teachers to address both cognitive and socio-emotional needs of students in the classroom.

 What steps will be taken to increase student access to mentors and improve school connectedness?

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 Mentorship programmes will be implemented based on data, and opportunities for students to practice academic and non-cognitive skills will be provided. Communication norms will encourage open and respectful communication in schools.

How will schools be made safer for children, and what changes are planned regarding corporal punishment?

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Teachers and guidance counsellors will receive training to identify signs of childhood trauma, and corporal punishment will be banned in all schools.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

What is the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), and why is it important in the context of early childhood education reform?

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The ECC is a key regulatory and development agency for early childhood education in Jamaica. It plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality of early childhood institutions and supporting their development.

 What is the purpose of conducting a thorough institutional review of the ECC?

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The review aims to assess the ECC’s capacity to effectively implement, regulate, and provide support to the early childhood development (ECD) sector. It includes analyzing human resource needs, remuneration, supervision, data utilization, and research on the impact of early childhood institution (ECI) standards.

What legislative changes are being considered for the early childhood sector, and why are they necessary?

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The legislative changes aim to address various aspects of the early childhood sector, including the frequency of inspections, teacher qualifications, and other relevant areas. These changes are necessary to align the sector with current needs and standards.

How will the rationalization of centre-based ECD services benefit the population?

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Rationalization involves analyzing the optimal number and location of ECD centers according to the needs of the population. It also includes creating infant departments within primary schools and prioritizing ECD services in poverty-stricken areas.

How does the reform plan aim to improve the quality of teaching and learning in early childhood education?

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The plan focuses on rationalizing teacher training and qualifications, ensuring that each ECI has at least one trained teacher,upskilling pre-service and in-service training, and introducing integrated science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) and socio-emotional learning through digital pedagogical strategies.

What measures are proposed to improve services for children with disabilities and their families in the early childhood sector?

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 The plan recommends aligning services with the Teaching, Curriculum & Teacher Training section’s recommendations and developing a coordinated strategy for engaging and supporting parents of young children.

 What is the role of parent engagement and support in early childhood education reform?

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Parent engagement is essential, and the plan suggests providing education and training for parents, developing structured support and child development programmes, and co-coordinating educational strategies across various ministries and agencies.

 How will adequate financing be ensured for the early childhood sector?

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The plan emphasizes reallocating funds from other levels of the education system, if necessary, to provide trained teachers, teacher training, teaching and learning resources, support for children with disabilities, and improved ECC efficiency at the foundational level of the education system.

TEACHING PROFESSION

 What is the significance of teacher licensing in education reform, and what are its benefits?

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Teacher licensing is crucial for professionalizing teaching and ensuring greater accountability in the education system. It helps maintain quality standards, identifies qualified teachers, and supports continuous professional development.

 How does Jamaica plan to implement teacher licensing, and when will it be fully established?

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Jamaica aims to complete legislative processes by the end of 2022 to enable the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) to act as the sole entity for issuing teacher licenses.

What is the three-tiered professional teaching track, and how does it benefit teachers?

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The three-tiered track is designed to recognize teaching mastery and provides career advancement opportunities for teachers, including the highest level which is Master Teacher.

How are incentives being used to attract and retain quality teachers in underserved areas and subjects?

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Incentives are targeted using data to ensure fairness and efficiency, linked to professional development, and may include performance-based incentives for schools and teachers.

How does Jamaica plan to engage contract teachers, especially in STEAM and TVET areas?

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Contract teachers will be deployed based on a gap analysis, and mechanisms for their licensing and support will be established. Programmes like Teach America or UWI BOOST models may be considered.

 Will teachers be allowed to be reallocated within regions based on need, and how will this work?

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Pilot projects for reallocation of teachers within one region will be explored, allowing for flexibility and mobility in addressing staff shortages.

 What are the proposed changes to teachers’ leave entitlements and how will this benefit both teachers and students?

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 Money saved from leave entitlement changes may be used to increase teachers’ salaries, providing benefits to both teachers and potentially improving student performance.

 How will teacher screening and matriculation standards be strengthened for teacher training institutions (TTIs)?

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Mechanisms will be instituted for screening teaching candidates and gradually increasing entry requirements for TTIs to ensure high-quality teacher training.

What steps will be taken to enhance partnerships between TTIs and schools?

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 Policies for school-based teacher training will be developed, with designated practicum schools and criteria established for monitoring partnerships.

How will teacher educators be held to standards, and who will monitor this?

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 Standards for teacher educators will be developed, and monitoring will be overseen by the Ministry of Education and related bodies.

FINANCE

How will Jamaica finance the mitigation of learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

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 Funding to mitigate learning loss may involve reallocating funds from other parts of the budget, seeking emergency funding from international development partners, or exploring various financial mechanisms to ensure that schools are prepared to address health and hygiene protocols and provide learning remediation.

Why is there a focus on increasing the allocation of budgetary resources to early childhood and primary education?

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 Increasing the allocation of budgetary resources to early childhood and primary education is essential for providing a strong foundation for students. This investment supports quality education at the foundational levels, contributing to better educational outcomes.

How will support be enhanced for low-income households to meet non-fee educational expenses?

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Support for low-income households may include measures such as expanding the school feeding and PATH (Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education) programs to assist families in meeting the costs associated with sending their children to school.

 What is the rationale behind standardizing school feeding programmes within parishes?

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Standardizing school feeding programmes within parishes can help achieve economies of scale and improve efficiency. By streamlining operations, cost savings can be realized, allowing for expanded support to low-income households.

How will the No-Fee Policy at the secondary level be revisited?

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The No-Fee Policy may be revisited to explore options for greater equity in financing education. This may include progressive school fee systems, reallocation of resources from schools with higher tuition fees to those with lower fees, or other measures to ensure that education funding is distributed more equitably.

How will Jamaica increase access to tertiary education for disadvantaged groups and the rural population?

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Increasing access to tertiary education for disadvantaged groups and rural populations may involve policy changes, increased financial support, and the mobilization of private sector resources to make higher education more accessible.

What is the role of the Students Loan Bureau (SLB) in tertiary education financing?

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The SLB plays a critical role in providing financial support for tertiary education. Recommendations include improving SLB’s efficiency, availability of student loans, collections enforcement, and exploring partnerships with private institutions and financial services.

What is the Child Opportunity Fund, and how will it benefit education in Jamaica?

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The Child Opportunity Fund is aimed at providing financial support for educational purposes, including tuition fees, post-secondary education, skills training, and more. It aims to enhance educational opportunities for children and youth in Jamaica.

TERTIARY

 What is the Higher Education Act, and why is it important for Jamaica’s tertiary education sector?

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The Higher Education Act is legislation that outlines the regulations and policies governing tertiary education in Jamaica. It is essential because it provides a legal framework for the operation of tertiary institutions and ensures quality and accountability in the sector.

 How does Jamaica plan to implement teacher licensing, and when will it be fully established?

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Jamaica aims to complete legislative processes by the end of 2022 to enable the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) to act as the sole entity for issuing teacher licenses.

What is the role of the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (J-TEC) in the tertiary education sector, and what responsibilities does it have?

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J-TEC, as the Higher Education Authority, is responsible for developing a higher education policy, establishing a Tertiary Education Management Information System (TEMIS), entering funding agreements with institutions, developing a strategic framework for institutions, and conducting comprehensive research on the sector.

How will the integration of the MoEY’s Tertiary Unit into J-TEC streamline governance?

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The integration will avoid duplications in governance and allow for better coordination and research within the sector, consolidating all oversight and research under one body.

What is the purpose of the Tertiary Education Management Information System (TEMIS), and how will it benefit the sector?

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TEMIS is designed to track all data related to tertiary institutions and students, enabling better decision-making and improving the policy environment.

How will Jamaica address inefficiencies in publicly funded tertiary institutions?

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An operational review will be conducted to identify significant inefficiencies in the sector, and measures will be taken to eliminate them.

What is the significance of creating a tertiary system with different institutions offering different programmes?

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This approach allows for greater flexibility within the tertiary system and ensures that programmes are complementary, reducing duplication and inefficiencies.

How will collaboration between institutions be encouraged, and what benefits will it bring?

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Collaboration will be encouraged through joint programme delivery, sharing of facilities, and the merger of back-office operations. This will lead to resource optimization and programme efficiency.

What is the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), and how will it be operationalized?

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The NQF is a framework that aligns qualifications within the tertiary system. It will be enshrined in policy and legislation, and all institutions will be required to operate within this framework.

 What are micro-credentials, and how will they be promoted in Jamaica’s tertiary education system?

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Micro-credentials are shorter, more focused courses that allow students to gain specific skills. Jamaica will develop a framework for micro-credentialing and stackable degrees aligned with the NQF, enhancing flexibility and learning options.

INFRASTRUCTURE AND TECHNOLOGY

 Why is increasing government expenditure on school maintenance important?

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Increasing government expenditure on school maintenance from 1% to 3% of the annual budget is crucial to ensure that school buildings and facilities are adequately maintained, creating a conducive learning environment for students and teachers.

How will the information system for managing school buildings and equipment benefit schools?

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The information system will help schools with managing detailed records of their assets and equipment, schedule maintenance visits, and manage maintenance requests efficiently, ensuring that schools are well-maintained.

What are service level agreements between the MoEY and schools, and why are they important?

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Service level agreements are formal agreements that define the level of service and support that schools can expect from the MoEY. They are important to ensure that service delivery is consistent and meets the needs of schools.

How will the investment in security infrastructure improve safety on school campuses?

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The investment includes procuring additional security cameras, employing on-site security personnel, and implementing security fencing programmes to enhance the safety and security of school campuses.

 What is the Green Building Strategy, and how will it benefit schools?

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: The Green Building Strategy focuses on making school buildings more environmentally friendly and sustainable. It includes measures such as using solar energy and water conservation systems, which can reduce energy costs and promote environmental responsibility.

How will technology be used to enhance education in Jamaica?

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 Technology will be used to improve internet penetration, support digitization of education, and provide essential IT infrastructure for schools. This includes deploying broadband infrastructure, ensuring connectivity in schools, and implementing software platforms to enhance governance and productivity.

 What measures are in place to ensure the safe and secure use of online learning platforms?

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Guidelines will be developed to promote safe and secure use of online learning platforms, including guidance on discipline and decorum in the online learning space. Additionally, there will be rigorous upskilling and training for teachers who may need assistance with technology.

How will cybersecurity be addressed in the education sector?

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Strong cybersecurity software and hardware systems will be implemented to protect schools and educational  and the Central Ministry from cyber threats. Licenses will be acquired in bulk to minimize costs.