PM Holness wants private-sector partnership to create advanced education system

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (Photo: JIS)

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is appealing to the private sector to collaborate with the Government and teachers to develop a comprehensive and relevant education system that will benefit all Jamaicans.

“A truly relevant education system cannot be delivered by the public sector or private sector alone. Working together, the Government, educators and the private sector must develop the infrastructure required to enable learning and training opportunities for all members of society,” he said.

Describing education as “the great socio-economic equalizer”, the Prime Minister emphasised the value of a good education, especially to less privileged members of the society, while making his contribution to the 2020/21 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, on Thursday (March 19).

“A good education system helps to lift individuals and families out of poverty and to strengthen the middle class.  Several of us in this Honourable House, myself included, came from very humble beginnings and we are here as a result of access to education,” he said.

Consequently, Holness said, “We owe it to current and future generations of Jamaican children to give them the same opportunity to uplift themselves”.

However, he noted that under the current education system, access to the best schools is highly correlated with socioeconomic status.

We must take decisive steps to improve access to quality education for the poor and underprivileged,” Holness emphasised.

The Prime Minister further pointed out that with the advent of the Technological Revolution, the majority of the current jobs are at high risk of being affected by computerisation and technology over the next 10 to 20 years.

For this reason, he said that Jamaica needs a workforce fit for the future, in order to realise its potential for innovation.

At the same time, Holness noted that there is also an increasing need for lifelong learning, “as career paths are altered by largescale labour market disruptions”.