January 18, 2022
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says his government is taking steps to position Jamaica as a technology and innovation hub in the Caribbean.
Holness, who was speaking at the virtual launch of the ‘The Reform of Education in Jamaica 2021 Report’ on Thursday, January 13, 2022, said that several initiatives are being undertaken in this regard, including the coding in schools programme. The initiative, which involves partnership with Amber Innovations Group Limited and Digicel Group, aims to promote coding in public schools.
“Coding will be taught from grades one to 13 across all public schools and our youth will acquire basic numeracy, language and problem-solving skills, which are the prerequisites for coding,” the prime minister informed, noting that the objective is to make Jamaica the Silicon Valley of the region.
In addition, he said that plans are moving forward for the building of six new science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) schools.
An institution focused on the performing arts will also be established. As Jamaica prepares to transition into a digital economy, the prime minister said that the country’s citizens must have the necessary knowledge and skills to function effectively in a modern society.
Those foundational literacies include language (reading, writing, and speaking in standard form); numeracy, science, and information and communications technology (ICT), which he noted, is a critical component of modern education.
“We will be moving with certainty and deliberate speed towards a digital economy, and we can’t leave anybody behind. We have to develop a strategy as to how to educate those who have this digital reluctance. We need to ensure that all our students, leaving our schools, have these foundational literacies,” prime minister Holness said.
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