Revisit Incentive Programme to Encourage Private Interests to Build and Operate Schools


Member of Parliament for East Central St. Andrew, Dr. Peter Phillips, is recommending that the Government revisit the incentive programme in order to encourage private and community interests including the church, to establish and operate schools.
“This might seem to be running counter to the general recognition of the limitation of funds (but) what we need to do is to encourage commitments from the private sector,” Dr. Phillips said on July 15 in his contribution in the 2009/10 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
Noting that a number of entities were engaging in educational support, Dr. Phillips said, “it would be useful if the government was able to generally try and combine these efforts from a variety of institutions into some single national effort to recover our educational system for the benefit of our children.”
“I believe there is scope to mobilise financial resources, and human resources from the broad citizenry of the country, including the retired teachers and education officers, teachers in the Diaspora and others, who are willing to give something (back),” he added.
Dr. Phillips also praised the efforts of the government to create a National Education Trust Fund (NET).
“This, I believe, is most urgent, because it will provide the means of mobilising resources from stakeholders, the private sector, parents, and people in the Diaspora. People of good will make a contribution to such a fund,” Dr. Phillips stated.
The main purposes of the NET Fund are: to manage a National Education Endowment Fund; direct and co-ordinate non-financial resources, such as voluntary human resources, donated equipment, material, and technology; act as the agency through which the Government can execute its strategic objectives in developing and maintaining the education infrastructure, without being hampered by fiscal constraints; and interface with local and international funding organisations on infrastructure development projects.
In addition, the NET will be the focal point for interfacing with the Diaspora on issues of education and national development; provide a credible institutional framework for accountability and efficient use of donated funds; and plan and execute a programme of school construction and maintenance.

JIS Social