Submitted by William Skinner
Quite recently a friend alerted me to the fact that the introduction of Junior Colleges, formed a recommendation that I sent to the Task Force on Employment in 1987. My presentation was: Solutions for Employment -The Educational Component. In that paper, I recommended the extension of the primary school by two years and then transfer to the Junior Colleges.
Here is what I stated in 1987:
The Proposed Junior College(s)
Abolishing the Common Entrance examination will mean abolishing the Secondary School. The Secondary Schools feed off the primary schools. The secondary school, as they are presently designed, are great purveyors of unemployment.
The immediate effect will be reduced numbers of sixteen and seventeen years old on the job market. There are too many, sixteen, seventeen and eighteen years old on the unemployment list.
At Junior College, students will be exposed to professional counselling. Constant guidance in careers and and good citizenship will be stressed. Counselling must be honest and practical. Students would have spent ten years developing interests in many areas therefore counselling will supplement rather than retard them. Counsellors will be aware of the job market and must be able to explain how it changes and adjusts to innovative technology, social and political development. Students’ attributes along with known abilities, supplied by primary school records and data, will assist both students and counsellors in arriving at practical solutions.
The curricula, at the proposed Junior College, will supplement, modify, and expand that of the primary school. The present policy of taking twelve-years-old and throwing them into a frustrating pro-academic program, would have been eliminated by the abolition of the Common Entrance Examination.
Junior colleges will be effectively zoned, to allow students to reach college, with minimum difficulty. Teaching staff will be re-oriented, to perfect a balance of technical and academic, rather than the lop-sided academic which is now in use.
This must not be seen as an attempt to downgrade academic achievement, but observation reveals that all present school plants-primary and secondary are pro-academic, which creates an extremely poor picture of what technical staff can achieve. Those students, who are already academically brilliant, would have been previously identified, and would be placed into academically oriented programs, to develop their talent.
Junior college will be environmentally based and subjects such as: energy, transport, hospitality, agriculture, horticulture, botany, tropical architecture, health care, woodwork, fisheries, consumerism, communication, journalism will be given preference.
Finally, any progressive reform of the educational System must include a number of new institutions:
- National College of Environmental Studies
- National Sports College of Excellence
- National Creative Excellence College
- National College of African and Black Studies
- National Junior Agricultural College (ages 15-18)
I have only submitted this because I was alerted that a recommendation, I made back in 1987 is now apparently being considered.