JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the Government’s unwavering commitment to education is reflected in the nearly $38 billion it is spending to enhance the secondary school system.
The sum, he said, includes far more than the $19,000 provided per student to cover operational costs.
He said the allocation includes provisions for salaries, grants, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and information and communications technology (ICT), science, infrastructure, furniture and nutrition.
“That means we are spending between $176,994 and $190,000 per capita at the secondary level,” he pointed out.
The Minister was addressing educators at the Newell High School in St. Elizabeth on September 6.
He said that there have been some additional areas of support for the new school year, which includes providing teachers for “those schools that require special support based on the nature of the students and special programmes being offered”.
“We have 21 temporary deans of discipline to be provided to schools,” he noted. “There will also be over 1,000 young people to be engaged as lab technicians, safety and security support officers, and also clerical officers. Environmental wardens will also be placed in selected schools,” he added.
Senator Reid said there will also be upgrading of canteens and provision of equipment at a cost of more than $200 million, and payment of 913 cooks across the system at a cost of $274.8 million.
“We also have additional classrooms and infrastructure upgrade for selected schools,” the Minister noted.
As it relates to tertiary education, Senator Reid informed that 99 per cent of students who applied for loans through the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) for 2017/18 were successful.
“The Administration continues to ensure that increased funding is pumped into the SLB. Of course, those who borrow will have to repay on time to ensure the continued success of this revolving loan fund,” he pointed out.
He is also reminding persons to take full advantage of opportunities to access financing for tertiary education through the Jamaica Values and Attitudes (JAMVAT) programme and other initiatives.
He said the Government is committed to increasing tertiary access in keeping with the Education Sector Plan, which is a part of the Vision 2030: National Development Plan.
“This plan envisions an education and training system for Jamaica that produces well-rounded and qualified people who are able to function as creative and productive individuals in all spheres of the society, and be competitive in a global context,” he pointed out.