Ministry of Education Press Conference August 13, 2015
JFLL Makes Bold Strides in Adult Education
While the Jamaican Education system has made tremendous steps forward over the years and our educators have to be commended, there are still gaps in our national education fabric. While some would want to call them problems, I see them as opportunities and from the mandate given to the JFLL by Hon. Minister Thwaites; I believe he feels the same way.
- The most recent UNESCO estimates of Jamaica’s adult Literacy rate assert it to be 87.9% (2011). This study estimated that in an adult population of about 2 million people, there are @240,000 illiterate adults
- In 2012 52,000 students were eligible for CSEC examinations. Of these 21,000 - 42% got less than 4 subjects and 32% (approximately 17,000) got less than 2 subjects or didn’t finish high school.
- The UNESCO Information Service ranked Jamaica 10th of 12 Caribbean countries in the region for adult literacy. Only two countries in the region are ranked lower than us in adult literacy
The implications of not seizing these measures as an opportunity are that we can expect a continued prevalence of poverty, low standards of living, low productivity and competitiveness and limited parental involvement in their children’s education.
Recognising and seizing these as an opportunity the JFLL has positioned itself as Jamaica’s adult education agency providing learning opportunities islandwide for adults 17+ to secure their High School Diploma via the High School Diploma Equivalency (HSDE) programme.
To arrest and turn this problem into an opportunity for development JFLL has developed the:
High School Diploma Equivalency programme
- A 3 tier programme to take any adult from illiteracy or wherever they are up to readiness to sit CXC CSEC examinations in 5 prescribed subjects
- The Basic level treats those adults reading between grades 1 – 6 or those barely literate
- The Intermediate level treats with adults reading at grades 7-9 and as a bonus prepares them to matriculate to HEART NTA.
- The Proficiency level prepares them for 5 CSEC subjects after which they are awarded the HSDE which they can use to matriculate to community college and other higher education institutions
- At all levels learners are exposed to LifeSkills which empower them to be more adept, confident and assertive as individuals, parents, entrepreneurs community members and contribute to local and national governance in a more informed manner.
We continue to manage the General Stream of the MOE’s Career Advancement Programme where we deliver selected components of the HSDE through our network of partner high schools
Starting in September 2015 the HSDE will be available islandwide and via several of our existing and new partners.
JFLL is engaged in several key initiatives to ensure the delivery of a high quality HSDE programme to its learners
- JFLL is currently engaging in a series of facilitator training sessions to ensure impactful delivery of the HSDE curriculum. This includes instructional methods in the teaching of adults (androgogy). The 4 training programmes will conclude in late August, 2015
- JFLL is in dialogue with the MOE to explore how underutilized teachers in the formal education system can be deployed to the JFLL to strengthen and increase our ranks to deliver the HSDE
- JFLL is also in dialogue with the MOE to explore how some of the recently closed schools in the formal system can be repurposed for use by the JFLL as adult education centers
- JFLL is reviving and expanding its network of partner education institutions to extend our reach into more communities.
- We are seeking partnerships with schools, teachers colleges, vocational training institutions, churches, community centres, civic groups and private sector organisations.
- JFLL is well advanced in a retooling programme to ensure that its centers are suitably equipped and appointed to provide suitable learning spaces. We have refurbished all of our parish offices to provide an atmosphere conducive to adult learning. This includes improvements to our IT facilities and computer labs, a soon to be deployed online digital platform and the implementation of a School Management System.