Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, said that an additional $1billion has been added to the upcoming budget for special and early childhood education.
“We are adding it so that our little children can get the best…we wish we could do more,” the Minister stated. He was speaking at the official opening of the Accompong Basic School in St. Elizabeth on Wednesday, March 20.
Rev. Thwaites said the Government is making early childhood education a priority and stressed the need for increased partnerships at this level.
“We need all the partnerships that we can get, and we welcome them. Basic education is where we have to start as we must do it right the first time. We could do so much more if we only understand that we must not leave basic education alone, we must give it the priority that it needs,” he stated.
He urged the parents to begin now to save for their children’s secondary and tertiary education through a credit union or other financial institution.
Meanwhile, the Minister said that aspects of the maroon culture and history will be included in the civics curriculum during the next school year.
He said that while the programme started with the Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey, “we will be following on with all of the heroes and drawing lessons from them.”
The Accompong Basic School was built by Food For the Poor as part of its initiative to construct 50 early childhood institutions across the island to mark Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence.
It boasts three spacious classrooms, to comfortably accommodate up to 100 students, a sick bay, teachers’ office, and is equipped with child-friendly furniture.
By Garfield Angus, JIS Reporter