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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says the Government will continue to make significant investments in the education sector in a bid to improve quality and performance standards.
  • She said the Government’s efforts in education are designed to equip every Jamaican with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to become productive citizens.
  • She said that globally more countries are seeing the need to devote additional resources to building schools and funding educational needs, pointing out that between 1999 and 2012, 38 countries increased their educational spending by one percentage point or more of national income.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says the Government will continue to make significant investments in the education sector in a bid to improve quality and performance standards.

“Here in Jamaica, the education sector has consistently received the greatest share of the Budget after making provision for debt repayment. This amounts to over $80 billion every year,” the Prime Minister said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller was addressing the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation ceremony for Service to Education, held yesterday (June 24), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

She said the Government’s efforts in education are designed to equip every Jamaican with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to become productive citizens.

“We see education as the best means for individual fulfilment and national development. It is a potent weapon to eradicate poverty to ensure social and economic mobility,” she noted.

“The Government that I lead accepts that quality education is a right, not a privilege, and this is one of the main guiding principles as we negotiate in the global arena, the goals and targets for the post-2015 development agenda,” she added.

She said that globally more countries are seeing the need to devote additional resources to building schools and funding educational needs, pointing out that between 1999 and 2012, 38 countries increased their educational spending by one percentage point or more of national income.

The Prime Minister informed that locally significant progress has been made in education, citing improvements in mastery in literacy and numeracy at the grade four level. She noted that Jamaica is numbered among the 50 per cent of countries that have achieved universal primary enrolment.

The Prime Minister said teachers are essential in providing quality education and lauded them for their sterling and outstanding contribution to the sector.

“Teachers have always been and will continue to be among the most committed builders of our nation. They perform a service that builds the foundation as well as the superstructure of our country. They shape the minds of our children. I am standing here because of the commitment and dedication of our teachers; we cannot overemphasise the importance educators have in the future of every generation,” she said.

The Prime Minister added that there could be no progress without the country’s hard-working educators and commended them for devoting their skills, time, energies and passion to the educational development of Jamaica.

A total of 40 teachers, who have given outstanding service to the sector, were presented with the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation.

Among the recipients were: Dr. Grace McLean; Radley Reid; Anita Steer; Claudette Jones; Claudette Kerr; the Reverend Canon Peter Mullings; Dr. Fritz Pinnock; Marjorie Tracey; Collington Powell; and Cecil Cornwall.