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Minister of Education and Youth, Maxine Henry Wilson, has said that the Youth Information Centres operating in Portmore, Kingston and St. Mary represented one of the most highly successful strategies employed by the Ministry in reaching young people.
Making her contribution to the 2007/08 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (June 12), she informed that the Portmore Youth Information Centre was used 24,108 times in the calendar year 2006 at an average of 77 young persons per day. This represented a 76 per cent increase over 2005. She also informed that the centre in St. Mary was used 10,142 times in the calendar year 2006 at an average of 33 users per day, of which 787 were new users.
“The total usage figures represent a 14.8 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2005,” Mrs. Henry Wilson said.
In relation to the Kingston Information Centre, after six months of operation, the centre was used 2,600 times with 467 new users.
“A significant percentage of these young persons are from the inner city communities, in particular Allman Town and Woodford Park,” Mrs. Henry Wilson said.
The information centres are operated by the National Centre for Youth Development, and the organisation is working assiduously to ensure that at least three centres are opened by the end of this financial year.
“The Ministry of Education and Youth is currently in the final stages of negotiations with the United Nations Children’s Fund to secure a grant of approximately $20 million to fund the establishment of Youth Information Centres in St. Ann, St. Elizabeth and St. Thomas,” the Minister told the House.