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Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, is encouraging Jamaicans to save more as this is important to the country’s economic growth.

“We need to improve savings at all levels in Jamaican society. We need to stop depending on other people’s savings as much as we have chronically done and have now placed us in the impasse of our economic situation. The importance of domestic savings is critical to economic growth…because domestic savings are what we have put down for ourselves,” he said.

The Minister was speaking during the launch of First Heritage Co-operative (FHC) Investment Limited’s Student Investment Programme (S.I.P), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, on Tuesday, March 19.

Rev. Thwaites said good saving habits play a greater role once instilled from the earliest age possible. He also added that through savings, individuals will be able to contribute more to the education sector at all levels.

He commended FHC for its initiative to encourage students to save, adding that this will in turn, persuade parents to do likewise.

“The facilitation that you will offer through the SIP is of inestimable importance,” he said.

Outlining the programme, Senior Marketing Officer at the FHC, Diana Allen, said students at four high schools in the corporate area will be taught about investments in a club setting.

The participating schools are Queen’s High, Kingsway High, Campion College and Kingston College.

Ms. Allen said the programme will afford students a practical appreciation of certain aspects of accounting and business, and should positively impact their overall performance in these areas of study.

“The Student Investment Club is the vehicle for the young investor and the FHC Investment will be the driver for wealth creation,” she added.

The primary target for the investment club will be 5th and 6th form students. For those schools without a 6th form, students from the fourth form will be incorporated.

Distribution Company, Intcomex, will provide participating schools with a laptop for the club. There will also be periodic inter-school competitions to test what the students have learnt. Prizes for the top teams will include accounts with FHC Investments Limited and the winning school will receive the grand prize of $100,000, among others.

By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter