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The problems of the Jamaican Education System (Part 2)

02/26/10

Permalink 10:17:39 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Education

The problems of the Jamaican Education System (Part 2)

In my last post I wrote about the problems of our current education system, well as I got to the end of the post I realized there were a lot of rants I wanted to make regarding education in Jamaica, specifically pricing. Now ignoring the fact that not even high school education is free, lets look at tertiary level education. Since taking power the government has slowly but surely taken steps to remove the subsidy that the previous government has placed on tertiary education. So much so that anybody attending any tertiary institution will have realized the stark rise in tuition that has taken place over the years, a rise which is expected to continue since we have received the loan from the International Monetary Fund, a loan which has stipulated that they will have to cut the subsidy. Further hurting Jamaica's chances of ever reaching anywhere.

imf loan screws university students

Why? Just how many people do you think can afford a full tertiary education? The full economic cost per year of many degrees ranges around the US$10,000 mark... Per year. Multiply that by the current exchange rate and that means that the average Jamaican will have to find around J$900,000 every year for 3 or so years just to attain an education. Adding to that the fact that the degrees that may help us to attain better cheaper health-care cost exponentially more than that US$10,000 figure I initially stated only helps to make the situation worse. Especially since the people who leave these institutions do not have any jobs to go into.

The education minister then stated that maybe our education system is innefficient and inneffective. He makes an argument which I will admit was made on reasonable grounds but with what I consider to be very bad reasoning. He states:

"... each year Government was spending $14 billion for 60,000 students at the tertiary level -- all institutions combined -- while $2 billion was spent on early childhood, about $7 billion on primary education, and $12 billion on secondary schools.

But if we continue to spend on education in this way, effectively what we are doing, is providing for 60,000 and literally denying the other 250,000 (early childhood, primary and secondary)," he said, adding that based on the current results at the secondary level, only 11,000 of about 250,000 students could move directly on to tertiary education

And then finished off by saying that “only the elite was provided for in the current structure.” As I said he makes some reasonable arguments. First being that maybe we do need to start spending more on childhood education, for the simple reason that if you make a good base then you can make an excellent building (or... something like that). However I reiterate that I cannot see how spending less on tertiary education will change anything.

There's the fact that there will be less top level educated people in Jamaica, less educated people mean that we lose an important resource which is simply people with the knowledge and no-how to make better decisions and help to run the country more efficiently and intelligently than we do currently. It also means more entrepreneurs which then means more businesses which mean more money etcetera. Oh and these educated people can also turn around and better educate at the early childhood and high school levels which improves the education system which continues this cycle of brilliant Jamaicans adding to the world and making the world a better place.

See what I'm getting at? See that fun cycle of epic I just made? We need to keep the educated people in Jamaica and stop importing foreigners and pushing the locals away. Its the only way to improve Jamaica in the long term (short term planning isn't gonna get us anywhere).

Teachers are an important resource, keep them. Tertiary education is important to the nation, fund it! ... So ends my rant

 

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."

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