Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, has expressed gratitude to members of the Jamaican Diaspora for the support they continue to provide to the country’s education sector.


“I know there is a lot of interest in ensuring that the education system in Jamaica continues to educate our children to very high standards, and so we want to say… to all our diaspora members, thank you so much for the support, financial and otherwise, that you have been giving,” she said.


Mrs. Williams was addressing a plenary session during the virtual Jamaica Diaspora Sustainability Symposium on June 16.


She noted that members of the diaspora have formed partnerships with the Government and other key stakeholders, to ensure that no child gets left behind, particularly during the coronavirus (COVID-19).


“The diaspora has been a great source of strength for us. The diaspora has helped in our ‘One Laptop, One Tablet Per Child’ initiative. Through the Consuls General, through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the diaspora continues to send school supplies and so on to us, and these are always welcome. We thank you so much,” she stressed.


The Education Minister noted that discussions are being held with members to provide online learning support.


“We know, as well, that there are Jamaicans who are in the technology world and we have had meetings with several groups, who have presented their platforms to us and we are evaluating those platforms to see how best we could use them in the education system,” she said.


Meanwhile, she noted that strategies are being implemented to reach those students who are not being adequately engaged through the existing learning modalities. These are online, audiovisual, learning kit, and face-to-face.


“Yes, there is a percentage that has not been properly engaged and we know that we need to go into communities and find them, sit with them in small groups and begin that process, and that’s what we are planning for currently,” she pointed out.


The Minister said it is hoped that with the increase in vaccine coverage “we will have a clearer view as to whether or not we will be able to engage our students in the face-to-face environment come September”.


She noted, however, that the existing modalities will still be available.


The two-day symposium, which concluded on June 17, was held under the theme ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora – Stronger Together for a Sustainable Future’.