The Ministry of Education is currently in discussion with several local and international partners regarding investment opportunities, which can be created within the education sector.
This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, at a meeting of the Rotary Club of downtown Kingston, held at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston, on Wednesday, August 7.
“We have a number of unsolicited proposals from financial houses here and abroad, which are anxious to invest in education and we are prepared, under the aegis of the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and in consultation with the World Bank and the Ministry of Finance, to engage in such processes, so that we can use private capital prudently…to build out the many thousands of places that are required to improve our quality,” he said.
The Minister further noted that with these partnerships, new schools can be constructed, while existing ones will be expanded which will ultimately lead to the elimination of the shift system in schools across the island.
He pointed out that these partners are looking to invest millions within the sector, adding that partnerships with the Government will only redound to the benefit of the country.
“There is one proposing to build seven schools… and there are others with different size and different emphasis. We are meeting with the Ministry of Finance, the DBJ and (other) representatives to discuss how it can be done,” he said, adding that the proposals have been put forward for several months now.
In the meantime, the Education Minister used the opportunity to encourage members of the service club to continue investing in the sector as part of efforts to upgrade the education system.
The Minister said that the Club has played an important role in garnering support for education, through charitable donations in terms of awarding scholarships and providing schools with needed equipment.