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Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said that the transformation now taking placing in education will involve the gradual phasing out of the shift system in some of the country’s primary and secondary schools.
Speaking at an Awards Luncheon of the Rusea’s Old Students Association at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Friday (Nov. 10), Mrs. Simpson Miller said programmes are in place to expand space, upgrade facilities and generally improve the delivery of education through the use of modern technology.
“Secondary education is uneven with various categories of schools. Our aim is to have two clear, discrete levels of secondary and primary education and also to gradually phase out the shift system,” the Prime Minister said.
In commending the Rusea’s alumni for their participation in the operation of their alma mater, Mrs. Simpson Miller said full involvement of all stakeholders was necessary for the development and transformation of education. She said there was always room for constructive dialogue that would advance the transformation process and that care must be taken to resist barriers that stand in the way of unity.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller said that as Jamaica’s future rests on having an educated population, every citizen regardless of age should have access to opportunities for life-long learning. She said also that education should not be limited to academic learning, but that it should involve social learning and the development of social skills.
“Education goes far beyond book learning and the ability to reel off information. It is about having the ability to make choices in designing and living a fulfilling and productive life,” the Prime Minister said.
Citing instances of trauma experienced by students while attending school, Mrs. Simpson Miller called on Jamaicans to ‘draw closer’ to the children in their respective communities and show them a better way of living. She said now was the time for adults to provide more opportunities for youth to share their thoughts and feelings, as nothing can beat the human touch.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller and wife of the Governor General of Jamaica, Her Excellency the Most Hon. Mrs. Rhemia Hall, were made honorary members of the Rusea’s Old Students Association. Mrs. Simpson Miller said she was honoured to have been accepted as a member of such as distinguished association. Governor General the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall and the Most Hon. Errald Miller, are past students of Ruseas High School