Students reimagine the Jamaican education system: A contribution to the Education Transformation Commission


Between January and February 2021, UNICEF Jamaica and the National Secondary Students’ Council (NSSC) held a series of consultations with ten (10) groups of high school students across the island, including students with disabilities, students in juvenile centres and in state care, student leaders from various schools and a general representation from students in urban and rural Jamaica. A total of 74 students participated in the focus group discussions, 44 of whom were girls and 30 were boys. The sessions were facilitated by a combined team of adult educators, including UNICEF and MOEYI staff, and student leaders of the NSSC who ensured that students’ voices were heard. The energy, spirit and views of the students were captured, and key concerns and recommendations are highlighted in this report. In addition to focus group consultations, UNICEF conducted a U-Report poll (UNICEF’s two-way mobile messaging service to engage children and youth about issues that impact their lives), to gauge the views of a wider group of high school age children on reimagining education. Of the 516 high school age Jamaicans who responded to the poll, 73 per cent were female and 27 per cent male. The poll was co-designed with the NSSC and aligned with questions used in the consultations. The findings from the U-Report poll are also distilled in this report.


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Education system, Jamaica