Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites says the country has been able to provide a school place for every child at the Pre-Primary and Primary levels, and for almost every student at the Secondary level.
Launching the 2012/13 school year at the Strawberry Primary and Junior High School in Westmoreland on September 12, the Minister also pointed out that a third of students who are ready for university, can find a place.
"What a joy, what a pleasure that I can confidently announce that there is a place in school for every child in Jamaica in this year of 2012, both in the public and the private schools as well," the Minister said.
"Our foreparents have invested in education heavily and we must give thanks, even as we work on a mission towards equity and quality of that educational system," Rev. Thwaites added.
The Minister pointed out that the country has a cohort of trained teachers in all but the early childhood institutions, and that changes would be made in the future to address that situation.
"With the assurance of a space for every child, paid for by the tax payers of this country, supported by the parents and communities, well wishers, the churches and different funding agencies… I can confidently declare the 2012/13 academic school year to be officially launched and opened. May God richly bless the efforts and endeavours of all," Rev. Thwaites said.
The occasion was also used to officially open the neighbouring Friendship Infant School.
The Minister also presented Acting Regional Director of Region 4 in the Ministry of Education, Hilary Foster, with sample packages of the module containing the complete teachings of National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, to be distributed to schools across Jamaica and taught to students.