JIS News

Prime Minister P. J. Patterson has emphasised that the Government is committed to the advancement of education, and that this school year should see many students benefiting from educational opportunities.”Our commitment springs from the quest to build an egalitarian society, one which is founded on social justice and one which opens the doors for equal opportunities and serves to uplift the human being,” Mr. Patterson said.
“In today’s competitive global environment, that commitment is being reinforced by the linkages between the access to knowledge and the need for all of us to be on the cutting edge of information technology,” he added.
Mr. Patterson was speaking at the 45th annual conference of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios on August 22.
The Prime Minister said that to meet the needs of the education system, the administration would have to replace, extend and provide new school places, build science laboratories and language training facilities, provide administrative space as well as provide furniture and equipment.
“Under the World Bank Programme, by the end of next year there will be a capacity increase of 4,250 places; under the Inter-American Development Bank Programme, there will be a capacity increase of another 4,410 places; and in the new academic year, in addition to those, we will be providing, out of local resources, an additional 2,500 places. All of this is in addition to what has been coming on stream through the 17 schools being built in western Jamaica,” Mr. Patterson said.
The Prime Minister said that emphasis should not only be placed on access to schooling and a presence in the classroom, but exposure to quality broad-based and relevant education, hence the teachers had a very important role to play in transforming the minds of the students, through the teaching and learning process.
He urged the Association to put Jamaica and Jamaica’s children first at all times, to focus on the long term horizons, and to make positive and professional steps toward them.
“We must give all of our students the best chance of becoming the best they can and wish to be, confident, competent and caring persons, and high quality performers in this competitive globalized world environment,” Mr. Patterson stressed.