Speech

Expression of Gratitude
Madame Speaker, were it not for the people of the constituency of St. Andrew Eastern, I would not be standing here in this honourable house today. So let me say thank you to everyone who voted to send me back to parliament for a second term. Thank you as well St. Andrew Eastern for your patience as we live with Covid-19 and I am not able to be in the constituency as frequently as I used to in the past.

Thank you for your understanding as I continue in the portfolio at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
It is a big job. It’s a 24/7 job, just ask my security and administrative staff.

I want to put on record my deepest appreciation to my family (who barely see me) for their support and patience, to the Prime Minister for his trust and confidence to allow me to lead such an important Ministry, whose output (which we know as student achievement) determines whether this Jamaican economy continues at historically low growth rates or whether it takes a giant leap forward.

To the executive group and staff at the central Ministry, across its 7 regions, our many agencies, teachers,
principals, support staff, from early childhood to tertiary, I thank you for your tireless effort. Many of you
go well beyond the call of duty. You wake up early and go to bed late and for many of you this is a passion
and you want to see the education sector succeed. We recognize as well the efforts and funding of our
international partners in the education sector over the years, entities like UNESCO, IDB and the World
Bank whose research forms a large part of this presentation. You understand that if education succeeds,
Jamaica succeeds. Every day I am very moved to continue serving and leading the education sector.

CPFSA, Youth Division, Information
Madame Speaker, I could not do all that I do without the unwavering support of Honourable Robert Nesta Morgan and his dogged determination to have a world class child protection sector for the vulnerable children who fall into the safety net of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA). His energy is matched only by the young people with whom he interacts as he carries out the policy mandates of the Children and Youth Divisions. I thank you HM. Madame Speaker, we have a kinship like no other.

For the Information portfolio, our goal is to see the full implementation of the digital switch over from analog free-to-air television to fully digital free-to-air television. Approximately eighty three point seven percent (83.7%) of Jamaicans still use analog free-to-air television service with very limited choices in terms of channels. Fully digital free-to-air television service will significantly improve the number of channels, thus allowing Jamaicans wider access to information. We have begun the process to transition and expect that by 2023 the process will be completed.

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