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  • The Ministry of Education will be including two of the Junior Achievement Jamaica (JAJ) programmes in the primary and secondary schools curricula, to encourage entrepreneurship among the nation’s youth.
  • The pilot for the JAJ’s JA BizTown and the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurship (JACE) programmes are underway at several schools.
  • For the JACE programme, youth between 15 and 24 years will be guided through the principles of entrepreneurship.

The Ministry of Education will be including two of the Junior Achievement Jamaica (JAJ) programmes in the primary and secondary schools curricula, to encourage entrepreneurship among the nation’s youth.

This  was revealed at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Junior Achievement Jamaica (JAJ) Empowering Jamaica’s Youth Project closing ceremony, held on September 29 at the Terra Nova  Hotel, in Kingston.

The pilot for the JAJ’s JA BizTown and the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurship (JACE) programmes are underway at several schools. The programmes, which will be implemented over the long term by the JAJ, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, aim to make entrepreneurial instruction mandatory in  primary and secondary schools.

The JA BizTown programme is designed to provide practical learning experience about the basic principles of economics to grades five and six students. Through this programme, the participants will be taught age appropriate business, financial and workforce readiness concepts.

For the JACE programme, youth between 15 and 24  years will be guided through the principles of entrepreneurship.

In her address at the ceremony, President of  the JAJ, Alphie Mullings-Aiken, said the JACE programme would provide information on how to run a business.

“That programme really focuses on developing the entrepreneurial mindset for students and this is exciting, because it focuses on certain areas, such as agriculture technology, the creative arts, and we are looking at automotive (technology) as well for our boys. We are trying to inspire students to give more attention to school work and to their future at an early age when they still have a chance,” she said.

The JAJ is dedicated to educating and preparing students, aged 5 to 24, to develop skills which should allow them to achieve future economic success and become globally competitive through the lessons in work readiness and entrepreneurship.

The JAJ has been working with the USAID since 2010. The programme has impacted 10,000 students at the primary and secondary levels over a five year period.

For her part,  Mission Director of  the USAID in Jamaica, Denise Herbol, said the organisation “believes in education as a tool to develop upward mobility of the youth of Jamaica, affording them the opportunity to be budding entrepreneurs, future investors and innovators.”

“In addition, we place high value on it being part of a sustainable programme that positively impacts youth development and nation building,” she added.

Meanwhile, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Education, Dr. Franklin Johnston, lauded the partnership between the two entities.

“USAID is a big partner of Jamaica and the Ministry of Education and I want to commend the organisation  for staying the course with JAJ,” he said.