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Administration, Finance, & Educational Research

Funds for all agencies and ministries come through the Ministry of Finance, which is also responsible for collecting all taxes, overseeing financial institutions, and for managing the country's debt. The MOE&C receives funds from general revenues and from certain taxes that are earmarked for education and/or for specific programs. For example, the HEART/NTA programs receive direct funding via a payroll tax levied on employers whose monthly payrolls exceed a certain amount. A host of international funding agencies, including UNESCO, OAS, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), assist the government with projects involving construction of new facilities, the development of curricula, monitoring of student performance, and grants and fellowships for students to study both at home and abroad.

The government has made education its main priority, and this is reflected in the budget allocation given to the MOE&C. The Ministry's allotment has steadily increased since 1996, and projections for the 2001-2002 budget give the Ministry just under thirty percent of the non-debt portion of the budget. Debt service continues to eat up larger portions of the government purse, rising from 45.3 percent in 1996 to 58.2 percent in 2000 and to a projected 62.4 percent in 2001. The allocations given by the MOE&C to the different levels within the educational system also reflect changing needs and priorities. In the 1996 budgetary year early childhood education received 2.8 percent of ministry funds, primary education 34.3 percent, secondary 31.3 percent, and tertiary 20.2 percent. In 2000 early childhood received 4.5 percent, primary 36.9 percent, secondary 32.9 percent, and tertiary 18.3 percent. The proposed 2001 budget includes real dollar increases for all levels but allocates slightly more to early childhood, secondary, and tertiary education.

Traditionally, the management strategy of the MOE&C has been based on central control over all administrative matters. As the system expanded and grew more diverse, it was recognized that administrative reform was needed in order to provide a more effective way of managing the system at the local level. As part of the government's Administrative Reform Programme, the MOE&C was reorganized into a less centralized structure. Regional offices with clearly defined delegated authority and responsibility were (re)introduced with an eye to ensuring more efficient use of human and material resources. Six regional administrators have the responsibility for monitoring and managing systems in their geographic areas. The National Council on Education was established and charged with appointing and training members of individual school boards; it is also charged with finding ways to increase community participation in policy formation. Previously the members of individual school boards were appointed directly by the Minister of Education upon the recommendations of members of Parliament and the principals of the individual schools. The Boards of Management are directly responsible to the Minister for the smooth functioning of their schools, and each is required to formulate and implement a development plan in which annual targets are set and resources managed in accordance with that plan. Incentive funds are supposed to become available in 2003; these will be made available to schools and school boards that demonstrate excellence in organization, development, and academic performance. Each school also has an Education Officer whose job is to carry out Ministry directives and to ensure that the school is run in compliance with the government's code of regulations.

The Planning and Development Section of the MOE&C is responsible for research projects, planning and sitting schools, disseminating information about curricula to teachers, and organizing in-service and continuing teacher education. A variety of demonstration/pilot projects are supported by outside granting agencies; one example is the on-going Teenage Mothers Project operated by the van Leer Foundation and the Center for Early Childhood Education at UWI. Various other research centers at UWI engage in education and educationrelated research, as do Utech and Mico Teachers' College, among others.

Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceJamaica - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education