Senator proposes commission to look at funding of tertiary education

Senator proposes commission to look at funding of tertiary education

Sunday, February 09, 2020

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Senator Robert Morgan has called for the establishment of a bipartisan commission to look into the funding of tertiary education.

Making his contribution to the 2019/20 State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on February 7, Morgan, who is also parliamentary secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, said the commission would also examine the current challenges relating to the funding of tertiary education.

“A bipartisan commission that borrows on broad stakeholder consultations, including the students, politicians, teachers, school owners, would be tasked with coming up with a unified position on the way forward for the funding of tertiary education for the next 50 years,” Morgan said.

He argued that the bipartisan commission “is long in coming”, especially in the context that 70 per cent of tertiary graduates leave Jamaica shortly after graduation.

“We are subsidising a lot of tertiary education, but what we are also doing is subsidising other countries' employment market. We need to consider it,” he said, adding that a proper funding mechanism for tertiary education is of critical importance.

Morgan said the Government has made significant investments in education, and further proposed that an incentive scheme should be established for tertiary students who join essential services as a means of dissuading them from migrating.

Some of the essential services, he cited, include critical care nurses, police, firefighters, teachers, and other specialist professions.

“I am suggesting that we give an incentive to certain critical industries in Jamaica where, for example, if you join the police force and you spend five years, your student loan will be forgiven. If we give young people an incentive and show that we believe in them, they will show that they believe in the country,” he said, noting that the necessary supporting framework would be established accordingly.

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