Systems to Be Established to Guarantee Equity in Education Sector

Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, says the Government will move to establish systems that guarantee equity within the education sector. The Minister was speaking at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Region Four consultation, held at the West Jamaica Conference Centre in Mount Salem, St. James, on Friday (June 14). According to Mr. Samuda, societal inequities have been influencing students’ educational outcomes, and as such, reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to providing equal opportunities, so that every child can maximise his or her true potential. Story Highlights Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, says the Government will move to establish systems that guarantee equity within the education sector.The Minister was speaking at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Region Four consultation, held at the West Jamaica Conference Centre in Mount Salem, St. James, on Friday (June 14).According to Mr. Samuda, societal inequities have been influencing students’ educational outcomes, and as such, reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to providing equal opportunities, so that every child can maximise his or her true potential.“The only way to achieve that and the level of success that we want to achieve is to establish mechanisms that will give every child, regardless of their station in life and the community from which they spring, an opportunity to start on an even basis,” the Minister said.He said the perceived disparity between the qualities of outcomes, especially at the secondary level, must be remedied, as far too many parents measure the success of their children at the primary level by their placement in a traditional high school.In that regard, Mr. Samuda said greater focus will be placed on every institution in order to build the capacity of every school to respond to the needs of students, based on their intellectual need.“The reason a preference exists… is because there is not an equal level of opportunities that exist across the board, so that every school can rise to the level and on the basis that a child can be guaranteed the best in the country,” he added.The series of regional consultations are being held to allow school administrators the opportunity to raise issues or concerns that they may have with the Minister and other personnel from the Ministry. read more

HAJ Encourages Prospective Homebuyers to Plan Effectively

Story Highlights In light of the Government’s thrust to supply the demand for affordable housing, the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) is encouraging persons to plan effectively to purchase a home.“We want to encourage persons in the interim to get their pre-qualification letters and secure their deposits,” Senior Public Relations and Marketing Manager at the HAJ, Richard Jones, told JIS News in an interview.Mr. Jones said that planning is essential when purchasing a home and allows for all the necessary steps, such as securing a mortgage lender and house deposit to be covered by potential purchasers.“The HAJ doesn’t start accepting deposits until after construction begins and we publish on our website once we have started, so we normally ask interested persons to monitor our website https://hajl.gov.jm/,” he said.After ground is broken for a housing solution, it takes approximately 90 days until the construction of the development begins.Mr. Jones pointed out that the HAJ will start construction for over 600 one, two and three-bedroom housing solutions later this year in Shooters Hill, Portmore, so interested persons can start making the necessary preparation to make a purchase.The units will range in price from $7.6 million for the one-bedroom starter units to $17.5 million for the three-bedroom units. The development is to be phased over three years and will be gated, featuring community play areas and a police post. “We want to encourage persons in the interim to get their pre-qualification letters and secure their deposits,” Senior Public Relations and Marketing Manager at the HAJ, Richard Jones, told JIS News in an interview. Mr. Jones said that planning is essential when purchasing a home and allows for all the necessary steps, such as securing a mortgage lender and house deposit to be covered by potential purchasers. In light of the Government’s thrust to supply the demand for affordable housing, the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) is encouraging persons to plan effectively to purchase a home. read more

Developed countries at UN say more trade can boost sustainable development

While covering a range issues, most strongly the need to end the carnage in Syria, fight terrorism and protect human rights around the world, particularly those of women and girls, the officials noted trade as an important component of sustainable development, which has been named as the priority for the 68th General Assembly session that recently opened.“A strong business sector, open trading rules and liberal foreign investment policies can foster economic growth and, with this, opportunities to achieve prosperity and security,” said Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, whose Government came into power just weeks ago.“We will support responsible economic governance and open trading systems that support export oriented economies,” Ms. Bishop said, citing her county’s long experience with economic liberalization, as well as the huge recent growth of the middle class in neighbouring Southeast Asia.“Beyond 2015, we must prioritise sustainable economic growth in the global development framework,” she added.Earlier today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, meeting with Ms. Bishop, discussed development in Syria and Egypt as well as Pacific issues and thanked Australia for its commitment to global peace and security, welcoming its recent assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. Franciscus Cornelius Gerardus Maria Timmermans, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. UN Photo/Paulo FilgueirasAlso speaking at the General Assembly today, Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, of the Netherlands, said that along with more trade, the “key words” for the post-2015 agenda are better aid and stronger, unified policy coherence for sustainable development.“The post-2015 agenda will benefit from a single, unified framework: we cannot talk about the plight of the world’s poorest people in isolation from the environmental problems endangering life on the planet,” Mr. Timmermans stressed.A coherent, sustainable agenda was to strengthen the international legal order, he added, with a focus on human rights. Speaking extensively on existing international legal mechanisms, some of which are hosted by his country, as well as on the situation in Syria, he supported the proposal that permanent members of the Security Council refrain from using their vetoes to stop mass atrocities. Jean Asselborn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs for Luxembourg. UN Photo/Ryan BrownThe Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, agreed that the post-2015 objectives for sustainable development must be integrated in a single and coherent framework that include all aspects of economic, governance, security and environmental concerns. “We cannot ignore the devastating effects of conflicts and violence on development,” he said, describing the destruction wrought in Syria and other situations.Mr. Asselborn noted, that as a current, non-permanent member of the Security Council, Luxembourg had been working with September Council President Australia to support the demands of humanitarian actors in Syria. “We must also talk – and more loudly so – about governance which is conducive to development, about institutions which guarantee the rule of law, about freedom of expression, about transparent and accountable governments. We must talk about justice, about the fight against impunity, about respect for international law.”The General Assembly’s general debate continues at UN Headquarters through 1 October. read more