Government of Jamaica launches Public Expenditure Review (PER) of the Education Sector in Jamaica
Analysing the adequacy, efficiency and quality of public spending on education in Jamaica
The Government of Jamaica, through the Ministries of Finance and the Public Service and Education and Youth, in collaboration with the World Bank and UNICEF Jamaica, launched today the Public Expenditure Review (PER) of the Education Sector in Jamaica. The Education PER analyses the adequacy, efficiency and quality of public spending on education in Jamaica.
The Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Honourable Nigel Clarke, said “Human capital development is a strategic priority of the Government. The development of education reform policies requires robust analytical input on how the government expends its resources in this sector. Jamaica’s level of public education spending of approximately 5.2 percent of GDP and 19 percent of total Government expenditure is relatively high compared to regional peers as well as top-performing education systems globally. However, while the level of spending is adequate, there are challenges with efficient targeting and quality education outcomes. The PER presents insightful analysis that will inform the government as it continues to focus on education transformation.”
The Jamaica Education PER is the second of recent reports to focus on Jamaica’s education sector, following the launch of the Jamaica Education Transformation Commission’s report. Honourable Fayval Williams, Minister of Education and Youth, noted “We welcome this analysis from the World Bank and UNICEF Jamaica on public education spending. It is imperative that policies and initiatives are guided by empirical data and this report adds to others we have been using to help determine the Ministry of Education and Youth’s Strategic Business Plan and policy direction in the short, medium and long-term.”
Public expenditure reviews are one of the World Bank’s well-established analytical tools used to help inform governments and stakeholders about the state of education financing in a country. At the request of the Government of Jamaica, the World Bank, with support from UNICEF Jamaica, utilized local, regional and international data to inform its analysis of public spending in Jamaica’s education sector. The Government of Jamaica acknowledges the support of the World Bank and UNICEF.
Mariko Kagoshima, UNICEF Jamaica Country Representative noted, "UNICEF is extremely pleased to have worked with the World Bank and the Government of Jamaica on this timely and important review of education expenditure. The PER is critical to decision-making that will impact the education of Jamaica’s children, as the country addresses a massive learning crisis exacerbated by COVID-19. Along with other stakeholders, UNICEF has already started working on some of the recommendations to help ensure public investments in education are adequate and accessible for all. The PER also complements our recent initiative to train close to 180 public officials in Results-Based Budgeting.”
“We are pleased to partner with UNICEF to provide the Government of Jamaica with these insights and recommendations. The report shows how changes to the education system can result in better learning outcomes, higher labour force participation and reduced inequality,” said Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.
She further added, “It is our hope that this Education PER will help to shape the transformation of Jamaica’s education system and will substantially improve opportunities for current and future generations of children. The World Bank stands ready to support the government in addressing these challenges.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Jamaica, visit www.unicef.org/jamaica.