JIS: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has lauded local charity organisation, International Proxy Parents (IPP), for its ongoing commitment to the development of education in Jamaica.
This it does through the annual disbursement of scholarships, totalling over $1 million, to secondary students enrolled in grades eight to 13 in 15 institutions islandwide.
It also funds several community projects, through support extended to five State-run children’s homes and institutions.
The funds are raised from the IPP’s annual bazaar, which is supported by the local diplomatic community, as well as donations from private-sector interests and other well-thinking Jamaicans at home and overseas.
“We certainly congratulate the International Proxy Parents for your generous contribution to the welfare of our children in Jamaica. We are truly honoured that you love our greatest treasure, which of course, is our children,” Senator Reid said.
He was speaking at the IPP’s presentation of a cheque for $1.49 million to fund student scholarships and bursaries, and community projects in 2019, during a ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday (December 5).
Senator Reid said it is incumbent on the State to “create the capacities” that ensure there are sufficient institutions at the primary and pre-primary levels, adequate spaces in secondary institutions, and options and opportunities for students to move on to higher education to develop their full potential.
He contended that to achieve this “we can’t just talk… we have to make it happen,” adding that “the Government alone cannot meet the needs within our education system”.
Against this background, he underscored the need for more partnerships with the private sector, charitable organisations like IPP, the church, members of the diaspora, “and all well-thinking Jamaicans”.
Acknowledging the “fruitful partnership” forged between IPP, the diplomatic community and other stakeholders, Senator Reid emphasised the need to further strengthen this and other collaborations “in the interest of education.”
For her part, IPP President, Roma Greenaway, said while the student funding provisions, in particular, “are not big bursaries… my understanding [is that] they are well appreciated in the households that receive them”.
This was affirmed by two of the beneficiaries, 17-year-old Ardenne Hugh School grade-13 student, Ajani Simpson, and 18-year-old Jamaica College 12th Grader, Akeem Thomas, who shared testimonials during the ceremony.
Ajani, who said he was introduced to the IPP programme by his Guidance Counsellor, indicated that the support he received enabled him to pass all his subjects in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination, and Unit 1 of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
“They supported me through all of this, and I am very grateful for this, because it really helped my mother a lot, and she is very thankful for it,” he said.
Akeem, who is from a single-parent home, said he and his mother are equally thankful for the support extended.
“I would like to thank the International Proxy Parents for helping me to pay for my school fees and my examination fees. I passed every CSEC subject and now I am pursuing CAPE. I would like to thank my guidance counsellors for recommending me for this scholarship,” he said.
Akeem also urged his fellow beneficiaries to endeavour to do their best in their studies at all times, because “I want us to continue to make the IPP proud”.
Among the institutions whose students have been assisted by the IPP since its establishment in 1980 are Ardenne High School, Dunoon Park Technical High School, Holy Childhood High School, Jamaica College, St. Andrew High School, and Vere Technical High School.
State childcare institutions that benefited from IPP support include Glenhope Nursery, Homestead Place of Safety, and Maxfield Children’s Home.
CAPTION: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (centre), and International Proxy Parents (IPP) President, Roma Greenaway (right), with three beneficiaries of IPP student bursaries for 2019 (from left) Ajani Simpson, Ardenne High School; Akeem Thomas, Jamaica College; and Shanecia Daley, Vere Technical High School. The cheque, in the sum of $1.49 million, which will also fund 1PP community projects in 2019, was symbolically presented during a ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on Wednesday (December 5).a