KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Government will be increasing support for primary schools in the next financial year.
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Ruel Reid, said that subvention to schools will be increased from an average of $800 per student to $2,500.
In addition, $15 million will be provided per parish, to ensure that a reliable maintenance programme is in place for primary schools.
‘This is so that there is some amount of resources to aid with critical repairs and maintenance,” he said.
Reid was speaking at the launch of the Pledge 2 Build Campaign, held on November 1 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
Pledge 2 Build is an initiative of the Jamaica Diaspora Education Task Force (JDETF), which seeks to mobilise some three million Jamaicans living overseas, to invest in the development of education, and educational infrastructure in the country annually, starting with early childhood and teacher empowerment.
The group is seeking to raise some US$2 million over the next three months, which will go towards upgrading the infrastructure of early-childhood and primary schools in Jamaica.
A portion of the funds will also be used for professional development and training of teachers.
Reid, in hailing the initiative, said it will support government’s efforts in boosting offerings at the early-childhood and primary levels.
For her part, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, urged Jamaicans in the diaspora to contribute to the campaign.
‘Support for early-childhood education and teacher development are two of the most worthy causes that you can stand behind,” she said.
Since its inception in 2013, the JDETF has become a model for Diaspora engagement in the area of education, facilitating the training of teachers and providing scholarships and laptops to students.
The Pledge 2 Build campaign involves collaboration with I Support Jamaica, which is a crowd-funding platform that seeks to provide a simple, creative and secure avenue for Jamaicans residing locally and overseas, as well as friends of the island, to provide financial support to microenterprises and not-for-profit projects and programmes.