JCF Special report on crime and education, the Minister erred !

Having read the report, I now believe that the education minister has made a huge blunder in placing a link, where virtually none exist as it relates to schools being the breeding ground for criminals.

The report list 18 schools and a total of 182 inmates who were said to have attended these schools from a sample size of 894. This give the top schools which are said to be breeding ground for criminals a mere 20% of the overall sample.

In statistics and using what is termed the 80/20 rule, says 80% of issues faced comes from 20% of the causes or factors and not the other way around.

Ronnie Thwaites has taken 20% of the schools and want us to run with that as being the cause of 80% of the issues.  What the Minister needs to be focusing on is not the 20%, but the 80%, as that is where the real problems exist.

Any intervention by the Minister in the schools, will lead to no improved output in terms of criminality or the propensity to become criminals, because that is NOT were the problem is.

One part of the report note that a large portion of those who are in prison ( based on the sample), went to secondary school, but either left without a single subject or dropped out.

Read the report and draw your own conclusion


JCF Report on schools





4 Responses

  1. The gleaner erred with a flawed headline

  2. Having read the report, I now believe that the education minister has made a huge blunder in placing a link, where virtually none exist as it relates to schools being the breeding ground for criminals.

    Amazing! The education Minister simply highlighted various aspects of the JCF report and true to form, you elect to categorize such a summarization as a blunder… WTF?

    From the linked report (Last paragraph of the Abstract):

    Additionally, the research unearthed evidence to suggest that the names of some schools were more likely to be featured than others. There is also overwhelming evidence to infer with a high degree of confidence that at least seven out of ten inmates in our adult prisons has had some association with non-traditional high schools.

    This begs the question; did the Minister say anything contrary to what was stated in the report? Funny that 10 out of the 12 recommendations were educational-related, specifically targeted to non-traditional schools and/or their cohorts. Why not label the report as incomplete, inaccurate or pure fallacy? My guess is your jaundiced view of the Jamaican landscape, which tends to prejudice even fact-driven analysis. Your partisan approach at examining data leads you to conclusions beyond the scope of the data, even at the risk of appearing foolish.

    Even more disturbing is how you zeroed in on the 18 schools listed in Table 9 of the report, without fully understanding the full breath of the data. Surely, an expanded table showing the full dataset could lead to conclusions beyond what you have highlighted. Is it possible that such an expanded table could show that 80% (or more) of the sample size of 894 are indeed from or had some level of exposure to non-traditional high schools? Possible?

    Again, I ask, what are your motives? Your takeaway is surely flawed and deserve to be withdrawn with immediate effect. Please apologize to the minister!

  3. Academicians also take issue with study

    n a letter to The Gleaner on the weekend, several points were raised by the group from the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work at the University of The West Indies, Mona, which argued that the recommendations made by Education Minister Ronald Thwaites in the report now deemed controversial, were “based on such an insecure foundation”. They also argued that a number of important variables were noticeably absent that would have influenced the report findings.


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