Seaga says “Knowledge is the Way”


Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, has noted that the opportunity should be grasped to give special attention to education, as a main thrust which can rescue the country from poverty.
“To accomplish this, funding will not be possible to rectify all the problems of the sector at one time. But a solution is possible, if we select the most important problem, the solution for which could alleviate the bigger problem with larger financial needs,” Mr. Seaga said.
The Former Prime Minister who was speaking at the Research Day held Thursday (April 29) at Shortwood Teachers’ College, Kingston, further noted that virtually 60 per cent of students at the primary level are currently illiterate.
“For most of them their education has virtually ended. They are like vehicles that are grounded because all tyres are punctured. But, if you fix the tyres, a relatively affordable proposal, the car with all its other problems will run again and earn again towards a final solution,” Mr. Seaga said.
He also noted that while literacy does enjoy priority in policy, the position has to be maximised by a special programme to make it the axis on which the country must form the pivot of its future development.
“I will sum this up with my own words: there is no educated country that is poor and there is no poor country that is educated. If prosperity is the goal, higher skills are the tools and knowledge is the way,” Mr. Seaga said.
Minister of Education, the Hon. Andrew Holness, encouraged the students to do greater research, as there is a need for more research within the tertiary institutions.
“For too long we have sought to address the problems of our country by emotion, by unguided speculation and by creating policy without looking for evidence. There are so many social problems for which we really have no clear understanding of the root causes. As a policy maker, I am forced to deal with some social issues, but I am dealing with them sometimes in a blind way because, while I am forced to respond, my response may not always be the best response, because I simply do not have the benefit of research into these problems,” Mr. Holness said.
Some of the areas in which the Education Minister encouraged more research were literacy, numeracy and parenting.
The inaugural Research Day of the Shortwood Teachers’ College Expo is being held under the theme ‘Research Matters: Using Effective Teaching Strategies to Improve Student Outcomes’. It is being held to showcase local-based research conducted by the Shortwood Teachers’ College and other educational institutions.

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