JIS News

Programme Manager in the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) Plan Development Unit, Richard Lumsden, says improvements in the areas of education, labour force quality and security are part of the four key goals to advancing the National Development Plan – Vision 2030.
The goals include: empowering persons to achieve their full potential; making the society secure, cohesive and just; making the Jamaican economy prosperous; and making the natural environment healthy.
Mr. Lumsden was speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly press briefing at the Institute, Oxford Road, Kingston, on Monday November 22.
He noted that for the July to September 2010 quarter, in the area of education which falls under national goal one, strides have been made.
He reported that a total of 36.7 per cent of students who sat the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) for the academic year 2009/2010 attained passes in five subjects or more, including passes in English and Mathematics. This represents a point eight per cent increase over the 35.9 per cent of the previous school year.
“We can look at those relatively incremental increases against the targets that we have set for 2015. In terms of our CSEC passes, we are targeting between 40 and 50 per cent of students sitting the exams to attain passes in five subjects or more,” he stated.
Mr. Lumsden noted that under labour force quality, the indicator that is used by the PIOJ is the percentage of the labour force, that is population age 14 years and older that has attained vocational or professional certification.
He said based on the results of the STATIN survey for January and April of 2010, some 20.7 per cent of the total labour force has attained such certification. This compares with the 20.5 per cent for 2009 which represents, for the similar period in 2009, a 0.2 per cent increase.
“For labour force quality, by 2015, 60 per cent of our labour force should have attained vocational and professional training,” he said.
As it relates to major crimes and murder, the rate per 100,000 for January to September of 2009 was 323 for major crimes and 43 for murder.
“For the corresponding period for 2010, both of these indicators showed a relatively significant decline, for 2010 January to September the major crime rate per 100,000 has fallen by 9.1 per cent to 294 and the murder rate has fallen by 8.3 per cent to 40 per 100, 000 population,” he said.
Mr. Lumsden added that some of the causes that may have contributed to the decline include the disruption of gangs and their activities; increased collaboration between citizens and the police; and increased use of proactive and technology driven policing methods.
“The government intends to take advantage of this opportunity to consolidate this trend, through programmes such as the planned community renewal programme, strengthening the newly established police/civilian oversight authority and facilitating the mainstreaming of social services within affected communities,” he also pointed out.
However, he cautioned that the declining statistics could be a short term trend, as it really only been manifested over the period, June to September, where the monthly rate of murders for example has shown an average decline of 45 per cent from the average monthly rate from January to May.
The PIOJ focuses on eight main areas as indicators for the National Development Goals for Vision 2030, which seeks to position Jamaica to achieve developed country status, based on a comprehensive vision of the country being the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.