A good partnership
LAST WEEK, the Parent-Teachers Association of Jamaica College staged a fundraising event headlined by the recognition of three main players in the school’s continuing efforts at improvement: Danny Williams, Ruel Reid and Ian Forbes.
Over the last 10 years, largely through the inspirational leadership of Danny Williams, there has been considerable improvement in the physical facilities and educational climate at Jamaica College.
Danny’s principle of inclusion and calm but resolute insistence on accountability have been the foundation elements of a sturdy partnership drawing together alumni, parents, staff and friends of the college.
Of course, it has helped that, unlike many other schools, several of JC’s old boys from the glory days of Hugo Chambers are now the wealthy business leaders who could afford to give back to their school as the Hendricksons, Gores and Matalons have done.
But the importance of the partnership goes deeper than the money contributions. It lies in the spirit of shared responsibility and the satisfaction of being part of a noble endeavour. That was the vibe which was evident and shared at last week’s function.
And this is the ethos which, being duplicable, could hasten the transformation of our schools and, by extension, ought to be the model for Jamaica’s political economy.
The elements are as simple as they are rare. A strong leader, whether chairman or principal and preferably both – who sets an appropriate tone for a school, or by extension, ministry or agency, and encourages, enjoins and measures performance targets.
What a contrast to the crabbit, egotistical, tribal approach to management and governance evident even in the run-up to today’s local government elections.
It is only through sincere, not self-interested or ‘mouth-water,’ partnerships that sustainable development and wholesome social relations can be forged in Jamaica.
Jamaica College’s progress has a deeper significance: that of now offering the range and quality of high-school education previously reserved for the elite of colour and class, to more