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JIS News

Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has announced that provisions are to be made in the 2008/09 Budget to effect changes within the education system that will adequately prepare high school students for substantial post-secondary pursuits.
Mr. Golding told journalists at a media briefing on Wednesday (Jan. 23) at Jamaica House that a report presented at the recent Cabinet retreat by Education Minister, Andrew Holness revealed that of 53,000 young people who leave high school annually, 38,000 were “unattached”.
“By unattached, they haven’t passed anything, are not going on to anything, have nothing to go on to, don’t have a job to go to, (and) they are not going on to any tertiary or vocational institution. They (either) go home or go on the street,” the Prime Minister explained.
He lamented that, sadly, males dominate this group, noting that “females are doing much better in terms of going on to something, even though some of them, too, are left facing this total blank wall of hopelessness and despair.”
“If you want to know where your young criminals are coming from, look within that (38,000) cohort. We (government) are going to have to address that. It is something that has to be addressed now as a matter of urgency,” Mr. Golding stressed.
The Prime Minister stated that provisions will have to be made in the new budget to address the problem, which will involve change, “both in terms of our school structure as well as school processes, in order to redeem this large body (of young people)”.
Noting that the move was necessary in order to counter the spectre of crime and develop the country’s people, the Prime Minister said, “If we don’t develop the capacity of our people, we are depriving ourselves of our most valuable asset, and we cannot continue to do that.”