Advertisement
JIS News

Education will continue to be a priority of the Jamaican government. The assurance was given by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller while addressing Jamaican students studying in Cuba at a reception held in their honour on September 16, following the 14th Summit of Heads of State of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM).
She noted that education was the foundation around which everything evolved and that with “a good education, no one can buy you”.
Mrs. Simpson Miller assured the students that despite the challenges, the government was working to grow the economy, and advance the development of the country. But this could not be accomplished overnight, she said. “We have to work to get to the stage to accomplish the things we want to.and it is not going to happen by just the Prime Minister working. It is going to happen with every single Jamaican accepting his or her responsibility and all of us working together to ensure the growth and development of our homeland”.
She also urged the students to give back to their country. “When you graduate get back to Jamaica to help so that together we can change the face of Jamaica to be a peaceful country,” she said.
And, speaking at the same function, Jamaican Ambassador to Cuba, Elinor Sherlock said the Jamaican students in Cuba had “by and large exhibited great discipline and high levels of academic performance”.
As a result of this she pointed out, the 2005-2006 academic year had seen a significant graduating class of more than 30 students in varied technical and engineering fields. Additionally, there were more than 40 graduates in medicine and other health sector professions.
Ambassador Sherlock noted that many of these students graduated with honours, in recognition of their academic excellence and involvement in school life. “These young professionals have asserted their commitment to, in the words of our National Anthem, ‘respond to duty’s call’ by going back to Jamaica and giving their service to fostering our country’s development,” she stated.
She disclosed that this year an even larger graduating class was expected, dominated mainly by health sector graduates.
Both the Prime Minister and the Ambassador expressed gratitude to the Cuban Government for consistently extending its hand of friendship to Jamaica by allowing young persons to study in the country. “I hope that in the future both our governments and peoples will continue working together in the formation of new generations of professionals who will be bequeathed with the task of creating a better world for us all to live,” the Ambassador said.
She used the opportunity to reinforce that the Jamaican Embassy in Havana was willing to assist the students, where possible in order to facilitate their needs and to offer guidance. There are approximately 400 students currently studying in Cuba, under CARICOM and Jamaica/Cuba scholarship programmes.