JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Residents of Orange Hill in St. Ann can now pursue academic and vocational development in their community
  • The Methodist Episcopal Academic School of Learning and Marketable Skills opened on August 22
  • Member of Parliament for North West St. Ann, Dr. Dayton Campbell, welcomed the facility’s opening

Residents of Orange Hill in St. Ann can now pursue academic and vocational development in their community, as a training centre catering to these provisions has been opened in that district.

The Methodist Episcopal Academic School of Learning and Marketable Skills, which opened on August 22, is operated by the Methodist Church in Jamaica. It offers a range of programmes, including: Mathematics, English, information technology, and agriculture, among other areas of study.

Guest speaker at the dedication ceremony, Ministry of Education Regional Director, Maxine Headlam, noted that the institution’s establishment is a “significant” investment in the community by the Church.

“There is everything right about the church leading the charge in ensuring that education remains the primary vehicle for upward development, academic skills, and moral development,” she said.

Ms. Headlam contended that the school’s opening “has come at a very opportune time”, based on the extent to which the local and global economy have become service oriented and technology driven.

“We need to have students who are (familiar) and comfortable with technology. The courses that are offered are very significant and strategically selected. Information technology is in demand…so we want to make sure that our children become natural at technology. We want to make sure that they are exposed early to these technologies that are available,” she said.

Ms. Headlam also highlighted the significant contribution the institution will make in preparing students for other jobs and vocations, such as agriculture.

“I see this institution preparing young people to contribute to our food security… preparing youth to produce their way out of poverty, through agriculture. We have to do all that we can to support productivity in our country…because it is going to redound to the benefit of us all,” she said, while urging the resident to take advantage of the opportunities being offered through the institution.

Member of Parliament for North West St. Ann, where the institution is located, Dr. Dayton Campbell, who also spoke at the ceremony, welcomed the facility’s opening.

“Your programme complements what I am trying to do. This initiative is one that is so good, and is one that we want to commend to other persons,” he said.

In a bid to encourage persons to enroll, Dr. Campbell offered assist with the payment of registration fees.

“For the first 50 persons, who come in to register, you can come to my office and we will take care of the fees, thus removing any form of excuse that they may have (not to enroll). All they have to do is show up to the class, get themselves enrolled, and participate,” he urged.

Dr. Campbell said, by doing so, “what you would have done for yourselves is to move yourself from unemployable, to employable”, thereby positioning themselves to gain employment when the opportunities arise.

“If you remain focused, and you understand that you don’t lose your worth, there is nothing that can stop you in life,” he added.