JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The need for a fully transformed education system, which strategically fuses the academics with technical and vocational subjects, to meet the current needs of the labour market.
  • The Education Minister argued that the modern investor is not asking whether he can get a return on his investment or if Jamaica is safe enough.
  • Rev. Thwaites urged the students to take their education seriously and work at excelling in both the basic academic subjects and the technical and vocational competencies.

The need for a fully transformed education system, which strategically fuses the academics with technical and vocational subjects, to meet the current needs of the labour market, has been emphasized by Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites.

“There is demand for persons with technical, vocational, educational and training skill sets, as the 21st Century global labour market is pointing us to the need for highly skilled persons with qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly referred to as STEM subjects,” the Minister highlighted.

He was addressing students and teachers at the Edwin Allen High School in Clarendon, as the institution celebrated its 50th anniversary. Rev. Thwaites also reflected on the contribution and work of founder, the late Edwin Leopold Allen.

The Minister argued that the modern investor is not asking whether he can get a return on his investment or if Jamaica is safe enough.

“He is asking whether there are enough of you who are certified and able to provide the skills necessary to run a logistics hub; to man an agro park; to move ahead a modern transportation system; to be engaged in research in food production and food processing. Those are the skills that we are seeking, those are the skills that will make you productive and eventually prosperous,” the Minister told the students.

Rev. Thwaites hailed Mr. Allen, a former Minister of Education, for his invaluable contribution to education and for introducing the comprehensive school curriculum, which was a response to the labour market realities.

“Edwin Allen High, you are among those who have changed the whole perspective of Jamaica’s education system. What the school has done is to bring together both (technical and vocational  and academic skills), so necessary in the 21st Century,” he added.

The Minister emphasized that the “rich mixture of technical and vocational subjects with core courses” that the school facilitates, “is a model that the Ministry of Education is seeking to promote in all high schools.”

Rev. Thwaites urged the students to take their education seriously and work at excelling in both the basic academic subjects and the technical and vocational competencies.