Cur­ricu­lum is­sues

JTA pres­i­dent raises con­cerns about roll-out of NSC

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY - An­dré Poyser Staff Reporter an­dre.poyser@glean­erjm.com

WHEN THE Ja­maica Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (JTA) met with Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Ruel Reid last week for their monthly meet­ings, con­cerns about the roll-out of the Na­tional Stan­dards Cur­ricu­lum (NSC) were high on the agenda.

Pres­i­dent of the JTA Howard Isaacs, who spoke with The Gleaner, dis­closed that he has been re­ceiv­ing a num­ber of com­plaints from teach­ers about the man­ner in which the NSC is be­ing in­tro­duced.

Scores of teach­ers who at­tended train­ing ses­sions for the NSC be­tween July and Au­gust have com­plained about what they de­scribed as a seem­ing lack of com­pe­tence of the in­di­vid­u­als con­tracted to de­liver the train­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Isaacs, there is a gen­eral lack of re­sources within the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem to ac­com­mo­date the new method­olo­gies de­manded by the cur­ricu­lum.

“We are get­ting feed­back from teach­ers to say there is a con­cern re­gard­ing the un­fold­ing of the cur­ricu­lum. We are also recog­nis­ing that there are some ad­di­tional re­sources that are needed,” he told The Gleaner.

Un­der the NSC, em­pha­sis should be placed on project-based and prob­lem-solv­ing learning, with Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics/Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing, Arts and Math­e­mat­ics (STEM/STEAM) in­te­grated in the teach­ing process.

The new method­olo­gies are ex­pected to pro­vide stu­dents with more hands-on ex­pe­ri­ences, but it ap­pears that teach­ers are no wiser about how to im­ple­ment this in the class­room even af­ter the two months of train­ing.

Even while laud­ing the sound­ness of the ped­a­gog­i­cal ap­proach of the NSC, the JTA pres­i­dent said he is con­cerned that the train­ers con­tracted to de­liver the train­ing ses­sions for the cur­ricu­lum were not fully pre­pared and equipped to pass on the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion to teach­ers. He also noted that sev­eral teach­ers have had prob­lems ac­cess­ing the new cur­ricu­lum.

“In the re­cent months, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the cur­ricu­lum has had its chal­lenges in terms of train­ing for the fa­cil­i­ta­tors them­selves. Some of them are not as pre­pared as you would ex­pect them to be, so that has been an is­sue,” he added.

ISAACS

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