Education and Training Essential – Minister

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says education and training are essential foundations for persons who want to achieve in life and for the country to progress.
  • The Minister was addressing participants at the opening of the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE) Annual Conference, held at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay, on December 9.
  • The theme of the conference was: ‘Transformational leadership: enhancing high performance in tertiary institutions’.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says education and training are essential foundations for persons who want to achieve in life and for the country to progress.

“We are at a stage now where we have to recognise that Jamaica has very little future that is sustainable, unless it becomes a society highly regarded for knowledge and for skills,” the Minister argued.

The Minister was addressing participants at the opening of the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE) Annual Conference, held at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay, on December 9.

The theme of the conference was: ‘Transformational leadership: enhancing high performance in tertiary institutions’.

The Minister observed that Jamaica is among those countries with the lowest proportion of persons in the tertiary cohort, and it is the policy of the government to double that number within five years.

“Government plans to double the number after that as well, if we hope to be the home of robust private businesses and personal endeavours that blossom into larger enterprises, and if we hope to be the recipient of continuing levels of foreign direct investments,” Rev. Thwaites said.

The Minister contended that all stakeholders in the education arena must  become part of the transformational process.

“Our institutions must operate in accordance with international best practices and standards in terms of programme accreditation.  In this regard, we commend the work being done by the University Council of Jamaica in the area of quality assurance, even as we join in the chorus to ask and to be in a position to provide the resources that will allow them to adjudicate on quality and courses in a quicker time,” Rev. Thwaites said.

The Minister argued that the efforts at transformation can only take place if there  are transformational leaders at the policy and institutional levels.

“For its part, the Government remains committed to supporting the tertiary education subsector, as some 17 per cent of the education budget is spent in the tertiary sector every year,” he said.

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