JIS News

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Local Government, Robert Montague, has signed a Letter of Intent with Cuban Ambassador, Gisela Garcia Rivera to undertake a literacy programme in St. Mary.
The signing, which took place at Local Government Department’s Hagley Park Road offices in Kingston on Nov. 27, represents phase two of an ongoing educational co-operation between the Cuban Government and the people of St. Mary.
Mr. Montague noted that under the programme, St. Mary would be provided with a literacy expert, for four months, which is part of the Cuban ‘Yes I Can’ programme. “St. Mary has one of the highest rates of illiteracy in the island, some 34 per cent, and the purpose of this expert is to train community trainers who will assist in the drive to reduce the level of illiteracy,” he said.
Pointing to the success of the “Yes I Can” programme, Mr. Montague noted that it has been used in Africa, South America, Central America, “and it has proven itself, that in almost an eight-week period, you can take a person who is totally illiterate and have a very functional and useful citizen.”
He noted further that the Chamber of Commerce in St. Mary is “twinned” to the National Chamber of Commerce of Cuba and as such, a number of scholarships were issued to residents and students of St. Mary. “At the last count, we had some 65 students studying in Cuba, mainly at the University of Cienfuegos, studying from agronomy to zoology,” he noted.
Ambassador Rivera, in her remarks, said that she was happy to finally make the programme work in Jamaica. She said the objective was to assist the people of Jamaica, and to “strengthen our bonds, and our links of collaboration”, adding that it was hoped that the project be expanded to other areas in the island.
The ‘Yes, I Can’ literacy programme uses various teaching methods, along with radio and television, to tutor persons who are illiterate or under-educated.

Skip to content