US dollar pricing in Jamaica undermines local currency — Terrelonge

Latest News

US dollar pricing in Jamaica undermines local currency — Terrelonge

Friday, July 31, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Information Alando Terrelonge has decried what he says is an emerging and perhaps accepted common practice among businesses operating in Jamaica to quote and advertise prices in US dollars only.

Terrelonge, in a statement this morning addressing the decision by some faculties at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona to quote tuition fees in US dollars, called for the practice to discontinue, warning that it “lays the foundation to the slippery slope of complete erasure of the Jamaican currency”.

Students at the UWI earlier this week called on the institution to reconsider quoting tuition fees in US dollars for the faculties of engineering, film, law, medicine, and nursing.

“We cannot, as a nation, afford the cultural perception that our currency is irrelevant. Local businesses trade in Jamaican currency and have always made allowances for fluctuations in currency trading rates,” Terrelonge said.

He further stated: “UWI is supposed to be our hub of cultural consciousness and intellectual vigour. It is the site that has put out a lot of scholarship on imperialism, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the impact of globalisation on developing economies, like ours, national identity, and personhood.

“To give a foreign currency primacy of place in its operations, is a privileging of economy over culture and identity – and that goes against the very heart of what they are supposed to be about. This practice of undermining our dollar amounts to a genesis of rooting out a very significant part of the defining characteristics of Jamaican identity – erasing what it means to be Jamaican in the economic and cultural sphere."

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon