The Jamaican and South African Education Ministries are moving to collaborate on several key areas of mutual interest, aimed at strengthening the countries' bilateral relations.
This follows discussions between the Education Ministry and a visiting South African delegation, led by South Africa's Minister of Higher Education and Training, Hon. Dr. Bonginkosi Nzimande.
Speaking at a press briefing hosted at the MICO University College in Kingston on September 13, Dr. Bonginkosi Nzimande, said discussions with the Ministry have been characterised by “very frank and open sharing of experiences, respective strengths and weaknesses, but most importantly, we have identified a few concrete areas around which we will seek to co-operate."
He noted that the visit is being used as a means of building a firmer foundation for co-operation between both countries' universities and colleges in areas such as humanities and social sciences; the teaching and production of maths teachers; and in the area of agricultural research.
Dr. Nzimande said Jamaica and South Africa have much to learn from each other as developing countries, “because we often face problems of a similar kind than between us and advanced and highly developed countries."
"We are going back to South Africa to report very positively about this trip and we are committed that the moment we land, we will start to do something together,” he said.
Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, said the visit also highlighted the importance of south-south diplomacy.
South-South co-operationis a term normally used by policymakers and academics to describe the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between developing countries, also known as countries of the global South.
"We share many common challenges, but the exhilarating thing is the variety of solutions, the opportunity for collaboration and research in organisational method and all of this overlaid by a commitment for mutual advancement," Rev. Thwaites said.
The South African Minister, along with a six-member delegation, is on a four-day visit to Jamaica.