Students to become chief executive officers
SOME 10,000 grade-five and grade-six children will be given the opportunity to indulge in the process of operating a business over the next school year.
This will be made possible through the Junior Achievement Jamaica's (JAJ) BizTown Programme, which was launched on Tuesday.
The non-profit organisation also opened the JA BizTown facility, which is an experi-mental learning programme.
The construction of the facility was the Rotary Club of Kingston's major project for 2013-2014. The Ministry of Education and the United States Agency for International Development were also a part of the project.
"Every president gets one major project and I wanted to introduce to the children of Jamaica some of the practical things I learnt overseas. I believe that if we teach our children how to manage money from a very early age, then we will be cultivating financial literacy in the young, which will enable Jamaica to shine brightly," Allison Peart, immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Kingston said.
"I wanted a project to invest in our young people and ensure that our nation can grow and develop to its full potential, JA BizTown met all of those conditions," she added.
Details of programme
Alphie Mullings-Aiken, president of the JAJ, noted that the JA BizTown facility is a simulated business district in which up to 100 students per day will become chief executive officers, chief financial officers and workers running the town and consuming in it.
The students will visit the facility after completing their science, technology, engineering and mathematics-focused business curriculum during the in-class learning of the programme.
"This is where our students will bring what they have been learning to life; grade-five and some grade-six classes will take turns to have a coordinated field trip to JA BizTown where they will be engaging in commerce, getting paid, writing cheques, purchasing products and services and even producing a newspaper," she said.
Ronald Thwaites, minister of education, also lauded the initiative and the facility.
"The world is changing and it is time for the education system to embrace those who see the opening in economic development. Our students need to be ready to fill the available jobs and, very importantly, to create the jobs that are possible in our society," he said.
Eight local companies partnered with JAJ to create the simulated economy for the students' learning. Some of the companies involved so far are Caribbean Broilers, Guardsman Group, Jamaica Public Service and Spanish Court Hotel.