JIS News

Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, has said there is a dilemma in Jamaica regarding the financing of education, and professed his support for corporations that fund educational causes.
“I have to lend my support and associate myself with any corporate entity that wants to fulfill its corporate obligations by funding educational endeavours,” the Minister said.
He was speaking at the Pierre Arboine Memorial Scholarship Fund award ceremony, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on March 20.
“When we see corporate citizens, such as (OBF Finance Company), step up to the plate, we are even more heartened and we would use this as an example to point to other corporate entities to join in making contributions to education,” the Minister said.
Mr. Holness stressed that no one should be excluded from receiving a good education and that education was like a vaccine. “It is the vaccine against ignorance, it is the vaccine against poverty, it’s the vaccine against crime,” he stressed.
“If you don’t spread education widely,” the Minister continued, “ignorance and poverty and violence will still exist in your society.”
He noted that even though everyone should be able to freely access education, persons often could not afford its economic cost. “It is something that we want everyone to have, but certainly not everyone can pay for it,” he pointed out.
Mr. Holness cited the government’s provision of subsidies and the removal of obligatory entrance fees in schools, in order to ensure that persons who could not afford education, have access to education.
The Minister also encouraged parents to contribute to their children’s education and to support the infrastructural development of the schools.He said that if parents could not meet the cost of the school’s auxiliary fee, then they should ask for help.
Mr. Holness said he took special interest in the persons who genuinely could not contribute and pointed to the provisions made for them through the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), adding that persons with a specific problem could come to the Ministry for assistance.
The Minister thanked the organizers of the event, OBF Finance Company, for their assistance to the education sector.
During the ceremony, the company handed over cheques with a combined value of $1.5 million to students of several primary and high schools.

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