Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | July 22, 2009
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Gov't to tackle shift system in schools


Education Minister Andrew Holness has signalled the Government's intention to attack the shift system in schools.

In making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in Parliament yesterday, Holness said the shift system affects the quality of education and is a manifestation of the need to provide access to education.

"The shift system has a major negative impact on the quality of education," Holness told Parliament.

There are 154,341 students attending 116 schools that use the shift system.

"If we are serious about quality, then we must provide universal secondary education, we must remove the shift system, and we must reduce overcrowding. Building more schools and improving the ones we have will increase access but it will also increase quality," Holness said.

The minister added that in order to offer universal secondary education up to grade 11, the State would need to remove the shift system as well as build and refurbish at least 100 schools.

The estimated cost of building a school to accommodate 1,200 students is US$6.5 million.

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