JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the planned merger of the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) and the National Youth Service (NYS) with the HEART Trust/NTA forms part of a “rescue mission” for the country’s at-risk youth.

 

He said the merger will ensure that there is a sustained programme for early intervention for children from poor socio-economic backgrounds.

 

“We all recognise that these children start behind those from more affluent background when they arrive at school. At age five, children living in poverty are several months behind their peers in terms of readiness for school,” he pointed out.

 

“When we merge JFLL and NYS and HEART, it is because we are trying to arrest the problems and ensure that nobody falls through the cracks again. Every child in Jamaica now is going to be targeted and get an opportunity for their full personal, intellectual (and) academic development,” he noted further.

 

Minister Reid was addressing a teachers’ appreciation banquet at the Aabuthnott Gallimore High School in St. Ann on Saturday (February 4).

 

Meanwhile, he said the Government remains firmly committed to eliminating the shift system within three years.

 

“We are rolling out a big programme in terms of taking schools off shift. We have just taken off about 34 schools over the last two years….we have 42 more to do,” he pointed out.

 

He indicated that a renovation and upgrading programme for a number of primary schools will be rolled out shortly as allocations have been made in the upcoming budget for the undertaking.

 

The Minister informed that the Education budget for the 2017-18 financial year is about $97 billion, and he is confident that this amount, added with contributions from other sources, will enable the delivery of quality education to students up to age 18 and learners moving to tertiary-level training.

 

CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, addresses a teachers’ appreciation banquet at the Aabuthnott Gallimore High School in St. Ann on Saturday (February 4).