Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, has called on political representatives to get more involved in the education process, especially in the appointment of school Boards in their area, and maintaining a good level of communication between the school community and the Government.
"The Member of Parliament must be integrally involved in every school in his or her constituency, and that intimate involvement doesn't only mean sharing of the Constituency Development Fund, although that is part, but it also means a concern for attendance, for the welfare of the students, and for the advancement of the teachers," the Minister explained.
Rev. Thwaites was addressing a Ministry of Education (MOE) organised Back-to-School Conference for School Board Chairmen and Principals in Region 4, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, on July 20. Parishes in Region 4 include St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.
The Minister insisted that the role of Members of Parliament in the education system has to change, to reflect a more tangible contribution from that individual.
He emphasised that petty political differences must be omitted from the educational landscape in the interest of the advancement of education in the country, adding that since taking office; he has been having regular meetings with his counterpart from the Opposition.
"Unless we all are in this thing together, it is not going to work," the Minister said, arguing that there is a new era of partnership and engagement that is dawning in Jamaica, which should be celebrated and advanced.
He lauded the involvement of the private sector in the education process, noting that it is a partnership that should be held in high esteem. He mentioned the involvement of the Church in the education system over the years, adding that there should be a deepening of the relationship between people of faith and the State, for the purposes of enhancing education.