Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Approximately 150 adults will get a second chance at empowering themselves, through the Majesty Gardens Community Development Education Programme (MGCDEP), which is to cost just over $15 million.
  • The two-year programme, which teaches adults to read from the basic literacy to CSEC level, and has a life skills component, was officially launched on June 5, in the South West St. Andrew community.
  • Addressing the launch, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, who is also Member of Parliament for the area, commended the participants for lifting themselves up and taking part in the programme, noting that by doing so they are investing in themselves.

Approximately 150 adults will get a second chance at empowering themselves, through the Majesty Gardens Community Development Education Programme (MGCDEP), which is to cost just over $15 million.

The two-year programme, which teaches adults to read from the basic literacy to CSEC level, and has a life skills component, was officially launched on June 5, in the South West St. Andrew community.

Addressing the launch, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, who is also Member of Parliament for the area, commended the participants for lifting themselves up and taking part in the programme, noting that by doing so they are investing in themselves.

“This is what the essence of development is all about, empowering people to make life better for themselves and members of their family; building their capacity for action and broadening their choices as you have done here this afternoon,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She noted that the whole thrust of the Government’s Economic Reform Programme (ERP) is to enable people to have a better quality of life and to lift more persons out of poverty.

“I feel very proud to lead a Government which is always mindful of its obligation to the people and most particularly, the vulnerable among us,” the Prime Minister said.

She reiterated the Government’s commitment to a credible programme of social welfare, even in the midst of its austerity programme.

Mrs. Simpson Miller reminded the residents that education is the key to development and urged them to make full use of the opportunities to empower themselves through the various State and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are undertaking intervention programmes in the community.

She noted that through this particular programme, participants will be able to move from primary education training to a high school diploma equivalency, through a pilot programme that will be launched in September.

The MGCDEP is an initiative of the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) Community Renewal Programme (CRP); the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) of the Ministry of National Security; and the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), which is an agency of the Education Ministry.

Meanwhile, National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, said the Ministry’s participation in the programme was not by accident, as there is now a committed focus towards crime prevention. He pointed out that law enforcement by itself will never solve the  crime problem in Jamaica.

“It will have to come about through a partnership formed between the public and private sectors; within the public sector across ministries; and most importantly, between the police and the communities at this level,” the Minister pointed out.

For his part, Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, advised the participants that government’s role is to offer the opportunity of a good education that will take them from wherever they are “to wherever you want to go.”

“This programme will take you as you are and will make sure that you understand what it is that is being taught before you move on, and if you pick it up quick and if you can go through it in two months, that’s fine, but if it take you two years that is good. Keep going, the important thing is that you are learning,” Rev.  Thwaites encouraged.

Majesty Gardens has been the focus of a number of community development initiatives by the Government and its agencies. Among them are the National Housing Trust (NHT), which delivered 48 houses recently;  the Jamaica Business Development Corporation; CSJP, CRP, Social Development Commission (SDC)  and the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), which have offered capacity building and skills training programmes.