PRIVATE SCHOOL EDUCATION: STILL RELEVANT IN JAMAICA
This week – November 8th – 14th, marks the inaugural national recognition of the significant contribution made by the private education sector to the nation-building process.
On behalf of the Jamaica Independent Schools’ Association (JISA) and all of the associated stake-holders, I would like to express heartfelt thanks to the Ministry of Education, and the good office of the Governor General for endorsing the proposal to make the National Proclamation of JISA Week. It is indeed a historic and meaningful time for all who have been involved in private education in Jamaica.
This focus on the contribution of private schools comes at a time when the sector is under serious threat. Many of our institutions are tottering on the brink of closure as proprietors and owners battle with the current social and economic climate. It is indeed a real time of testing for the private education sector.
Furthermore, in light of the severe moral crisis that is currently facing Jamaica, the option of values-based education is now an emphasis for JISA. It is our strategic response to the moral state of the nation. It was C.S. Lewis, who indicated that, “To educate a man without morals, while useful in itself, will only make him a more clever devil”.
A critical marker for a successful education process is the overall health of any given society. If this is true, then we must agree that the moral, ethical and social structures of the Jamaican society are in an unhealthy state. We are then led to the conclusion that our education system needs to find ways to address the issue.
I am therefore encouraging my colleagues to stay strong, firm and true to the vision which God has placed in your heart. In spite of the challenges, let us find ways to collaborate, build partnerships and to engage each other and our stakeholders in new type of conversations in order for our industry to service.
Let this be a memorable week when we celebrate the history and the foundational values of our schools.
May God bless you richly.
Pastor Wesley Boynes
President/ Jamaica Independent Schools Association