'Take $20b from dormant accounts to fund education', says Senator Floyd MorrisMonday, July 26, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— With funding being a priority, Opposition Senator Dr Floyd Morris says the Government should consider using $20 billion out of the $70 billion in dormant accounts in financial institutions to fund the country's beleaguered education system.
Morris said this should be done as a matter of urgency considering the present state of education in Jamaica, where approximately 20 per cent of the population is unable to read and write. Morris made the call on Friday during his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate.
His call follows that of Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Julian Robinson, for the dormant funds to be tapped. For his part, Robinson proposed a loan with a moratorium of 18 to 24 months for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that are struggling to cope during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Small Business Association of Jamaica has indicated that 30 per cent of its members were facing closure as a result of the pandemic and are in need of immediate support.
Morris believes the education sector is itself in need of immediate support.
“If we are to break the back of poverty affecting the country, we must have a productivity revolution,” Morris told his colleagues. He posited that the solution lies in an educated workforce.
Morris cited statistics that show that currently only two out of every ten high school graduates transition to the tertiary level. He said greater investments are needed in education while making the case for the dormant funds to be tapped.
“Some of these funds should be used to assist tertiary institutions.
Some of it should be used to purchase tablets for needy children in the education system and some of it should be used to assist the early childhood sector,” Morris argued.
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