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Jamaica’s Education Minister seeks National School Bus System

Education Minister calls on Jamaican Diaspora to help establish National School Bus System

By Derrick Scott

WASHINGTON, DC – Jamaica’s Education, News and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid has called on members of the Jamaican Diaspora in the United States to partner with government in establishing a national school bus system.

Senator Reid said “My dream is to see Jamaica with a school transportation system that will take our students from home to school and back.”  He said this is his vision for the Jamaican education system but that we need help from our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora.

Addressing members of the Jamaican Diaspora at a reception held in his honor by Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, DC on Friday, November 10, 2017.

Senator Reid pointed out that his ministry was looking to acquire 100 school buses over the next five years and urged members of the Diaspora to match this number.

The Senator added that once the national school transportation program comes on stream it will be rolled out in the rural parishes.  “Rural students will benefit from the same level of subsidies enjoyed by students who use the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses.  “A number of students do not regularly attend school, they arrive late, and in some cases don’t’ turn up at all.  This is due to the lack of a reliable school bus transportation system or parents who cannot afford the cost of public transportation.

Education Minister, Ruel Reid calls on Jamaican  Diaspora to help establish National School Bus System
Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), His Excellency Nestor Mendez greets Jamaica’s Minister of Education, News and Information Senator Ruel Reid at the Embassy of Jamaica on Friday, November 10, 2017 at a reception held in his honor. Sharing in the occasion is Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks and American investor and developer of Redding Estates in Montego Bay Al Dwoskin. (Photo by Derrick Scott)

While lauding members of the Diaspora and alumni associations for their continuous contributions to the education sector through scholarships and assistance to their alma maters, the Minister said it was now time to look at the social side.

Minister Reid pointed out that the present education system needs 100 new schools but presently they urgently need seventeen new schools at a cost of $13 billion dollars.  There is a four-year budget from which five new schools will be built next year.

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