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  • The educational status of 77 persons from the community of Majesty Gardens, in South West St. Andrew, has been improved, as they have successfully completed various levels of the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) High School Diploma Equivalency (HSDE) programme.
  • The HSDE was delivered through the Majesty Gardens Community Development Education Programme, an initiative of Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for the area, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.
  • The project is aimed at advancing the educational capabilities of persons in South West St. Andrew.

The educational status of 77 persons from the community of Majesty Gardens, in South West St. Andrew, has been improved, as they have successfully completed various levels of the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) High School Diploma Equivalency (HSDE) programme.

The HSDE was delivered through the Majesty Gardens Community Development Education Programme, an initiative of Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for the area, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller. The project is aimed at advancing the educational capabilities of persons in South West St. Andrew.

Of the 77 individuals, 33 graduated from the HSDE basic (grades 1-6) level, 20 at the intermediate (grades 7-9) level and 24 from the proficiency (grades 10-11) level. Twenty-four of the learners are currently awaiting the results of their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations undertaken in May and June this year.

In her address at the graduation ceremony  on July 8, Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that the programme is an example of people empowerment through education and training.

“I want to commend you all for making the choice to improve your level of education…Never stop improving yourself, keep on moving up, never give in and never give up and never forget. I am so proud of you all,” she said at the ceremony, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in St. Andrew.

The Prime Minister encouraged the graduates to continue pursuing their educational goals, despite the challenges which they may be facing, and to become productive citizens of society.

She commended the various agencies for their role in the programme and urged the participants not to squander the opportunity that they have been given.

“We are on a mission to change the lives of the people in South West St. Andrew and you are changing lives in Majesty Gardens,” she added.

In his remarks, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, encouraged the graduates to continue to access the different programmes offered by the JFLL, the HEART Trust and other agencies of the Ministry and continue advancing themselves through education.

Theodore Fowler, who received the highest achiever award, said he is very happy of his achievements and urged Jamaicans to give of their best, despite the obstacles they are facing in their lives.

Education and training is the area that receives the largest share of support from the Constituency Development Fund  in South West St. Andrew. At the same time, the Portia Simpson Miller Foundation gives scholarships every year to several deserving young persons in the constituency to pursue education at all levels, from basic school to university.

The programme, which was sponsored by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), through its Community Renewal Programme, and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP)  at a cost of  $15.1 million, was executed by the JFLL.

It targeted 150 adult learners for interventions at the basic, intermediate and proficiency levels of the HSDE.