Education and Schools System in Jamaica
Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education is concerned with the development of children up to age five. The institutions involved are day care centres, basic and infant schools and infant departments in primary and all-age schools. A community-based sponsoring body manages basic schools, and the Government’s contribution is in the form of a subsidy – salary, nutrition and class material.
Primary education is offered to children in grades one to six of primary and all-age schools. The educational offering at the primary level lays the foundation for the acquisition of knowledge, skills and values for total development and continuing education. It is expected that each student within this age group should be equipped with the following characteristic by the end of grade six:
Secondary education (High Schools) is aimed at producing graduates with adequate training to qualify them to admission to tertiary institutions or for gainful employment. The focus of the programme is to improve the quality, efficiency and relevance of the curricula. The main performance indicator at the secondary level for the quality of graduates is the level of success in external examinations at GCE `O’ and ‘A’ levels (British), and the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).
Tertiary education is offered in the following Government-funded institutions:
Tertiary education provides the opportunity for the acquisition of the knowledge and skills required for professional competence in various fields of endeavour. Assistance to students includes the provision of scholarships, boarding grants and tuition fees.
Multi-disciplinary colleges provide a broad programme of continuing education to satisfy individual, as well as the manpower, needs of the society. The colleges now offer preliminary university and teacher training courses. The institutions falling within this grouping are EXED, Brown’s Town, Knox, Portmore, Montego Bay, Moneague and Bethlehem Community Colleges
The University Council of Jamaica functions as an accreditation, awards and academic development body for degree, diploma and certificate programmes, proposed and developed at approved tertiary institutions. The organisations aims to:
Technical/Vocational education is offered to students at grades seven to eleven, in the areas of art and craft, agriculture, business, home economics and industrial arts.
This area provides students with the skills, knowledge and attitude which qualify them for job employment or entry into tertiary institutions. In addition to the schools identified under this programme, Technical/Vocational education is offered in some high and comprehensive high schools