Bartlett declares war on social ills
Edmund Bartlett, the member of Parliament (MP) for East Central St James, has said his annual scholarship awards programme to fund the educational pursuits of students in his constituency, is designed to help wage war against social ills affecting the parish and the wider Jamaica.
Speaking at the 2016 Ed Bartlett Tertiary Scholarship Awards Ceremony at the Iberostar Hotel in Rose Hall, Montego Bay on Tuesday, the long-serving MP, who is also Jamaica's minister of tourism, said the citizens of the parish could either get involved in the battle against lawlessness or become a casualty of it.
"My education policy is waging war against (lottery) scamming in East Central St James and Jamaica. My East Central St James programme is waging war against unemployment. We are waging war against ignorance, against delinquency, against truancy, and against crime and violence in our communities across East Central St James and St James in general," said Bartlett.
"This war we are engaged in involves everyone, because anyone who is not involved in this war is destined to be a victim of this war. The only chance you have to save yourself in this war is to be part of the army fighting in this war," Bartlett added.
Bartlett also encouraged the beneficiaries of the scholarship awards to put their education to practical use in terms of serving for the betterment of the nation.
"You have a very special responsibility, not only to work hard and achieve results, but to learn quickly to convert knowledge into material substance that is convertible into economic returns. In other words, your responsibility is to become educated, because to be educated is not to accumulate knowledge only, but the ability to convert the knowledge into material value that enables you to earn and to become a good citizen of your country," Bartlett said.
"We in East Central St James are determined to create educated young people, not just people with knowledge, because (while) knowledge is important, it is not sufficient for you to become a successful citizen and a successful individual," added Bartlett. "Our economic future in Jamaica is destined to go nowhere unless we win the battle against crime and violence. Yours is the responsibility to create this new environment which we must have, and the tool to do it is education, knowledge, and the information you will be getting."
During Tuesday's function, 33 new recipients were presented with scholarships geared towards furthering their ongoing tertiary studies. The function also acknowledged other students who had recently received scholarships under the same programme this year.
Since 2001, the East Central St James Scholarship Awards programme has provided scholarships valued at approximately $60 million to more than 500 high school and tertiary-level students in the constituency.