Don't underestimate Jamaica - Hinchcliffe
Making reference to recent reports that many Jamaicans are opting to go overseas for better opportunities, Audrey Hinchcliffe, chief executive officer of Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited, has said that many Jamaicans are underestimating significant strides that the country has made over the years.
Addressing a gathering at the 2014 Jamaica Teachers' Association Roll of Honour at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Hinchcliffe urged persons to do their part to build on the work that has been done.
Linda Loza was the recipient of the Roll of Honour award, having served the education sector for 41 years.
"I do believe that sometimes we Jamaicans, as we look outward, tend to underestimate the growth and development as well as the significant strides that we have made as a people and a country to bring about the primacy of our education sector," Hinchcliffe said.
"Of course it is not perfect, however, we are indeed fortunate to have an education product which is superior to that of some of the countries to which some of our young people declared recently in a survey that they would like to migrate," she declared.
Hinchcliffe lauded the work of various private-sector groups that have contributed significantly to education over the years.
"Our education system is constantly being upgraded by the Ministry of Education and educators. Annually, private-sector companies and organisations offer hundreds of academic scholarships for students at the high school and tertiary levels," she said.
"Many corporate entities have established foundations to pursue their corporate social responsibility, and through those entities, they have made significant contributions to the educational sector, hospitals, infirmaries, and other institutions, and we cannot forget our churches, who continue to be some of our major supporters," Hinchcliffe told the audience.
Loza, in her reply, noted that though much more could be done to compensate teachers. She urged educators to take their jobs seriously.
"If I had to live my life over again, I would do some things differently, but I would still become a teacher," she declared.
"There were many challenges, and sometimes I had to be counsellor, nurse, and even lawyer, but I enjoyed every minute of it because there was never a dull day. I encourage my colleagues to take their jobs seriously, and it will be worth it," Loza declared.