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Education minister says system ranks highly with developed countries

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 | 6:08 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, says the country’s education system ranks highly with those of other nations, particularly developed ones, whose standards Jamaica surpass in many instances.

“That level has been achieved with less Gross National Product than many of those countries,” Thwaites remarked. He was speaking at the Northern Caribbean University’s colloquium at its central campus in Mandeville, Manchester, earlier this week.

Consistent with the goals and targets of Vision 2030 Jamaica, Thwaites pointed out that the country currently has almost 100 per cent coverage for registration of children in primary schools, with an attendance record averaging 80 per cent.

Vision 2030 Jamaica is the country’s first long-term national development plan, which aims at enabling Jamaica to achieve developed country status by 2030.

The minister further informed that enrollment in secondary institutions currently averaged 90 per cent, while one third of the cohort of tertiary education is provided for by the more than 17 universities and colleges registered in Jamaica (which offer) more than 50 accredited courses.

Acknowledging that challenges exist within the sector, Thwaites underscored the need for the society to “assess where education is going, in order to restore the understanding that education is the number one priority of the nation.”

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