Minister of Education Ruel Reid is urging students to regard investment in their development as propelling them to greatness.
He added that investment in “our people” should not be seen as putting resources to waste, and young people who benefit from State support should find ways to give back to their communities and country.
The minister was addressing the official launch of the Trench Town Polytechnic College in St Andrew on Wednesday.
“What we have invested in you is not for self-aggrandizement; it is to lift you up so you can become a far more productive and useful human being, and you can help to transform our country and make our world a better place,” Reid told the students in attendance.
The minister explained that with the Alternative Pathways to Secondary Education (APSE) now in place for students to remain in the system for up to 13 years, training is being aligned with industries’ needs, and for persons to have it easier in finding jobs and economic opportunities.
He said that “giving you skills and certification” is reducing the 67percent of the workforce that has no formal certification, and that over the next seven years, every youth graduating from the education system will be certified in various skills.
“That is going to revolutionize the Jamaican economy,” the minister told the audience.
Meanwhile, Principal of the College, Dr Dosseth Edwards-Watson, told the gathering that much emphasis has been placed on making the new institution a “compassionate environment” and showing that the students are the biggest priority.
“If we treat students with care, we will reap better results,” the Principal said.
The Trench Town Polytechnic College, the first of its kind in Jamaica, started operations in September 2015 with programmes in continuing education, technical and vocational training, to deliver employable skills to students.