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School curriculum falling short, principal cautions

A politician and school principal has urged the authorities to pay closer attention to the island’s school curriculum, adding that it is not placing enough emphasis on teaching students to become self-employed and employable.

“We are not teaching enough about savings in our curriculum – and investment in our curriculum, and what it means to be self-employed, and what it means to be employable and marketable. Those are not so much so in our curriculum,” said Roogae Kirlew, Principal of Cassava River Primary and Infant School in the Glengoffe area of St Catherine.

The educator, who is also Councillor for the Mount Industry Division in the parish, reasoned that Finland is among places that have tailored their school curriculum to meet their demands.

He reasoned: “Even the curriculum that we have now, we have to pay close attention to it. Is the curriculum in schools meeting the needs of our children for the 21st century? Is it meeting the needs of our children?

“The Finland curriculum for example is a totally different curriculum from Jamaica – totally different. Guess what. They have written their curriculum to meet the needs of the citizens so that, when they exit primary and high school and tertiary institutions, they can be beneficial, they can impact on their society and they can be meaningful men and women,” added Kirlew.

Turning to the purpose of educational establishments, the educator reasoned that one of their main objectives is to produce educational products to meet the demands of the society.

“We talk about the production of education, which is very very integral in any country. The production of education is considered a practical real business, aimed at meeting the needs of a customer – example, a student or his or her employer. The objective of higher educational establishments is to produce the educational products to sell them to a mass consumer. That is a necessary condition for economic growth…” Kirlew reasoned.

He said students should be better prepared because, as time progresses, job opportunities will decrease significantly in sectors such as banking.

“The world is changing. Jobs that we had some four years ago; they are fading out. Some have faded out and some are still fading… Very soon, robots will be in banks and you might have only two humans there to respond to you,” Kirlew further said on July 31.

He, at the time, was delivering the keynote address at the launch of the Dinthill Technical High School Special Projects Fundraising Committee. The event was held at Dinthill Technical High in Linstead, St Catherine.

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