Government of Jamaica
The National Council on Education a statutory body operating as an agency of the Ministry of Education has recently concluded six one-day workshops for school board members in Region 1, (Kingston and St. Andrew) and Region 2 (Portland, St. Thomas and St. Mary . The workshops were held between January and March, 2016, with the aim of sensitizing the members of the critical role they play in governing public educational institutions in Jamaica. Over 1000 school board members were sensitized.
The overall objective of the workshops was to increase board members’ knowledge and understanding of public educational issues and governance procedures. School Board members’ responsibilities are extensive. Therefore, it is important that they have a clear understanding of their role and functions. Accordingly, the workshops were designed to:
During the workshops some of the major concerns raised were the role of the Member of Parliament in the selection of school board members, the role of the chairman versus the role of the principal, barriers to effective governance, protocol for the appointment of principal and staff, corporal punishment and managing discipline.
It must be noted that a major role of the school board is administering discipline. It is recognized that this area of the Board’s responsibility can be very challenging. Effective handling of discipline is critical in facilitating a safe and secure environment for not only students but also staff members. The school board members were encouraged to embrace rehabilitative methods of discipline as it is recognized that fostering good relations will produce more benefits than a well-oiled policing machinery.
The workshops in Region 1 were addressed by the Council’s Chairman, Dr. Simon Clarke via Skype cyber network and Region 2 by way of a written message, which was read to the participants. Facilitators included experienced educators, as well as the Legal and Finance Officers of the Ministry of Education.
These workshops were made possible through the generous contributions of our sponsors:
We thank you for your contributions and look forward to partnering with you in the future.
The National Council on Education extends sincere appreciation to all school board members, particularly those who participated in these workshops. We thank you for volunteering to serve in a vital aspect of Jamaica’s education system.