In Jamaica, a very proud and excited Tourism Minister MP Edmund Bartlett launched a planned multimillion-dollar supported by fundraising activities in the travel and tourism sector. The project means the future for many of Jamaica’s children could be big through early childhood education.
The project was launched during a dinner to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his East Central St James Education Fund at the Half Moon Hotel Conference Centre in Montego Bay last week.
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness praised the US$1.5-million Early Childhood Development Centre for Innovation, to be constructed in the St James East Central constituency later this year.
It will become a monumental legacy project.
The ground is scheduled to be broken in March for the state-of-the-art early childhood facility, expected to accommodate 100 students on a revolving basis, while construction is projected to be completed in time for the start of the 2023/24 academic year.
The prime minister was the guest speaker at the fund-raiser.
“When we talk about the legacy we want our moment in history to be marked by people, in other words, it is people who will carry the legacy. And investing in education is a very good way of ensuring that your legacy is marked,” Holness said.
“…So as your legacy will be carriedâ€¦you also want to build infrastructure, because infrastructure is probably the longest lasting legacy. It lives on, beyond people, especially if you build good infrastructure.”
The prime minister, who was impressed by Bartlett’s decision “to build an infant institution and to improve the infrastructure of education in this region”, stressed, “that a school is an important infrastructure.”
Minister Faval Williams said the early childhood innovation center is in sync with the transformation of education currently taking place across the island.
“I am so delighted Minister Bartlett, thank you for this idea. We stand ready to help you to continue to fill out the conceptualization of it to get to implementation and to expand it all across Jamaica.
With this, we can truly begin to see the transformation in education that we have all been talking about, and that we want to see actualized in Jamaica. This is an excellent start with Mr. Bartlett. Thank you. Again, it’s a feather in your cap for continuing to do the scholarships that you do, continuing to ensure that our children make it all the way from early childhood, through to college,” Williams said.