'We have to change the narrative from chopping to mapping’ — Hylton
Andre Hylton speaks to host Emprezz Golding during an event at the UWI Mona School of Business Management on Thursday. (Photo contributed)

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The key to transforming Jamaica from a crime and poverty prevalent country is to transform early childhood education. This is according to local automobile entrepreneur Andre Hylton, who was speaking at the UWI Mona School of Business Management on Thursday.

“I believe in early childhood education and I believe if you want to transform Jamaica, you have to start (there)—from zero to six years old,” he said. “A gunman did not just become a gunman because he was born that way. We created him. We create the gunmen today and if you look at that age (0-6), you can see who is being abused, and capture them at that stage.”

The former People's National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament for St Andrew Eastern said, to move forward as a nation and achieve Jamaica’s 2030 vision, the Jamaican government must establish programs to nurture the entrepreneurial talent of the population.

“We need a system that captures the potential of these youngsters and points them in the right direction. We have to change the narrative from ‘chopping’ to mapping,” he explained.

Mapping is the process of researching and understanding a targeted market with the intent to supply them with goods or services.

It is necessary, he added, for Jamaicans and especially Jamaican youths to experience a shift in perspective from import to export.

“If you ask a Japanese youth or young entrepreneur in Japan, ‘what kind of business you want to go into’, [they say] export. When you ask a Jamaican youth ‘what kind of business you want to go into’ him seh import. Why can’t we change that?” he questioned the audience.

He continued: “Everywhere in the world, people want a little touch of Jamaica. Brand Jamaica is expensive and we need to capitalise on it. We have the best coffee in the world, we have the best ginger in the world, [and] we have the best cocoa in the world. We need to map the world to see where they are responding to Jamaica.”

He insists early childhood institutions are the best places to implement behaviour modification as most children from inner-city communities access them at some point.

“This is one school an inner-city mother or father will proudly send their children. They always care for them at that age so you (the government) can catch their attention and from there, work with the schools and intervene and support these children so they can represent Jamaica in the future,” he expressed to OBSERVER ONLINE.

BY NATALIA CLARKE , Observer Online Writer

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