KINGSTON (JIS) — Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says the best gift that any Government can offer its people is the opportunity of a good education.
“People speak of the Government at this time satisfying the IMF’s agenda and they wonder what about the people’s agenda…The best example of meeting the people’s agenda is the upliftment of education, which is what we are doing,” Minister Thwaites said.
He was addressing a ground breaking ceremony at the Balaclava High School in St. Elizabeth, on May 14, where eight new classrooms will be built.
“When the Government speaks of balancing the books and about balancing lives, the best way to balance people’s lives is to offer them a good education which they will never have taken away from them,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Rev. Thwaites urged students to make every effort to take full advantage of the opportunities that are offered at the school.
“Amidst all of the difficulties of our time, please recognize that it was less than 15 per cent of persons in your age group at Independence (1962) who had the chance of going to high school. This year, 100 per cent of all of the primary school graduates will have the opportunity of a high school education,” he noted.
The Minister said the Government will be placing much emphasis on Balaclava High School, which was declared a failing school.
He pointed out that as a result of the tremendous work done by the Ministry of Education, the School’s Board and administration, supported by the students and the communities, Balaclava High has made significant strides towards changing that image.
“Balaclava is on the rise…the results show it. If I was writing your report card I would say …‘Improvement noted, more efforts to come’,” the Minister said.
He noted that Balaclava High has been dogged with a number of challenges, including overcrowding and a two-shift system.
Rev. Thwaites said that construction of the eight new classrooms will ensure that come the start of the new school year in September 2015, Balaclava will operate on a single shift.