JIS News

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has appealed to the Montego Bay business community to invest more in the education of young people to ensure the sustainable growth and development of the city.
The Tourism Minister, who was addressing the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s business forum on Tuesday (Nov. 27) at the Wexford Hotel, said education has to be the centrepiece of the social reconstruction process.
“I think that an uneducated society is doomed forever and irrespective of what happens by way of industrial attempts, whatever happens by way of social attempts, nothing will succeed unless you have an educated workforce, and an educated people,” he stated.
Pointing to the value of education to a country’s development, Minister Bartlett said that no educated society is really poor and there is no poor society that is truly educated. He expressed the opinion that education must be the vehicle through which all Jamaicans liberate themselves and transform their social and economic conditions.
Calling for more to be done to educate the youths in that city, the Minister said: “it is not about access to educational institutions, as critical and as important as that is, but it’s about quality education.”
“It’s about ensuring that from the basic kindergarten level, quality tutelage is provided, adequate instructional materials are provided, and all the early childhood stimulation materials that are needed to get the child actively engaged in the process of learning is available,” he pointed out.
He also emphasized the importance of nutrition to learning, adding that enough attention and resources are not being directed to this issue in the western city.
Minister Bartlett said that the way forward for Montego Bay must involve a re-definition of the city’s commitment to early childhood education, as a critical prerequisite to building an educated community.
He pointed out that the crime and violence, which is the major scourge in Montego Bay, is fed and nourished by ignorance and the lack of education.
The forum, held under the theme: ‘Montego Bay the way forward’, was part of a week of activities to mark the 75th anniversary of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce.

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