Teachers urged to acquire ICT competence

Education Minister, Andrew Holness ; Mission Director in Jamaica for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr. Karen Hilliard, and Principal of the Drews Avenue Primary School in Kingston, Yvonne Sterling, peruse the features of the Jamaica School Administrative System (JSAS) 7.0 software, which was launched at the school on Thursday. Holness was guest speaker at the launch. The JSAS is a management software system, which tracks school attendance and individual students' performances, providing fast and easy retrieval of information, as well as generating transcripts. The project is a joint undertaking between the Governments of Jamaica and the United States, and is being monitored by the Ministry of Education, through the Expanding Educational Horizons (EEH) initiative, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Education Minister, Andrew Holness, is urging educators, who are yet to attain competence in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to do so, as this will serve to lessen the digital divide, and guide and improve the decision- making process within the sector. Speaking at the launch of the Jamaica School Administrative System (JSAS) 7.0) software, at the Drews Avenue Primary School in Kingston on Thursday, Holness said competence in ICT is 'very critical.many things are happening in the classroom, but the teacher doesn't record it. And (even) if it is recorded, it's not reported. So we don't have the benefit of looking at past actions, to make our current decisions. we are, essentially, making decisions about education, in the dark,' he said. The Education Minister pointed out, that the Education Act, stipulates the need for some degree of compulsory reporting of incidents occurring within the sector, which underscores the need for logs to be maintained. This development, he said, will necessitate a deepening of the culture to this end. He further cited the need for stakeholders with a fear of the technology, to overcome this handicap.