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Story Highlights

  • The pilot project is to be implemented in five Corporate Area high schools by September 2014.
  • The project is an initiative of the University of Technology (UTech), through its Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, which will target students pursuing business education.
  • The project also seeks to provide students with entrepreneurial skills to enable them to create sustainable businesses, and by extension employment.

The performance of students in business subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level is expected to be greatly improved with a $500,000 pilot business education and entrepreneurship project.

To be implemented in five Corporate Area high schools by September 2014, the project is an initiative of the University of Technology (UTech), through its Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, which will target students pursuing business education.

The project also seeks to provide students with entrepreneurial skills to enable them to create sustainable businesses, and by extension employment.

Under the project, the selected schools: Excelsior High, Dunoon Technical High, Norman Manley High, Oberlin High, and Haile Selassie High schools, will be given $100,000 each to start a business of their choice.

It will be carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Caribbean Airlines, and First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union, which has provided the funding.

Speaking at the official launch of the project on Tuesday, June 4, at UTech’s Papine campus in St. Andrew, Chief Education Officer, Dr. Grace McLean said the project is a novel idea, which the Ministry fully endorses.

She said it was important that students are prepared from early to understand business concepts and to “start looking at creative ways of developing employment for themselves”, when they leave school.

“I believe it is a good thing when young people look at different business opportunities from the early stages of their development and it is even better when our schools seek to foster this type of entrepreneurial spirit,” she said.

Programme Director, Business and Computer Studies Programme, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, Vivia Clarke, informed that the project is part of the university’s outreach thrust, to provide an avenue for helping to solve the unemployment problem in Jamaica, which she reminded is currently at 16.23 per cent.

She pointed out that in enhancing the entrepreneurial skills of students; the university is working to ensure that students are in a better position to create meaningful employment for themselves as well as others.

“Students ought to be engaged in managing their own businesses as this will give them an excellent opportunity to understand how to create sustainable businesses upon leaving school,” she said.