Constituency Debate 2016 | What your MP had to say
Schools badly in need of improvement
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Michael Stewart
CONSTITUENCY: Manchester South
Manchester South Member of Parliament, Michael Stewart, has made a case for the Government to speedily address the critical needs of several schools in his constituency.
In his maiden contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate last week, Stewart lamented the lack of proper laboratory facilities and equipment in schools across the constituency.
He told his parliamentary colleagues that most of the computers that were distributed to schools through the e-learning programme have become obsolete and should be replaced.
"Many schools still have chalkboard partition, which really detracts from the teaching-learning process. If our schools are to remain relevant and continue to produce quality students, then the Ministry of Education must invest more in education," he insisted.
Stewart, who is an educator, said he has assisted approximately 1,000 students from the primary, high school and university levels with tuition from his Constituency Development Fund. He said more than 50 needy students will also be assisted with payment for three subjects in their Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate this year.
Stewart said he will be working with the South Manchester Partners for Learning and JAMALCO to ensure that a facility now under construction at Hermitage in the constituency meets the HEART Trust requirements in order to train and certify young people who are on a three-year waiting list.
He pointed out that the South West HEART Trust training facility located at Newport is an excellent facility but does not have the capacity to absorb the many young people who are seeking training opportunities.
Aiming to better the lives of constituents
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn
CONSTITUENCY: St Andrew West Rural
Vowing to be a "catalyst of change" for her constituents, first time Member of Parliament Juliet Cuthbert Flynn said during her tenure she intends to show them that "their dreams are worth pursuing".
In her maiden presentation in the House of Representatives, Cuthbert Flynn said she was in the early stages of establishing a skills training centre in the Red Hills area of the St Andrew West Rural constituency, a goal she aims to achieve through collaboration with some enthusiastic community members.
"There are many young people without a skill in my constituency and if we want to move from poverty to prosperity, then persons who cannot go to college must be equipped with the most basic of training to become productive members in society where they can provide for their families. I have identified specific needs for this area and I will be working tirelessly until this becomes a reality," she told her parliamentary colleagues.
Cuthbert Flynn also reported that she assisted more than 30 university students pursuing higher education, valued at $3 million, through her Constituency Development Fund.
A five-time Olympian, Cuthbert Flynn committed to supporting sporting initiatives in her constituency, noting that she has dedicated $1.5 million to the development of the Red Hills Football Club and the resurfacing of the playfield.
The MP also highlighted plans to significantly improve the volume of potable water to communities in her constituency and to reduce non-revenue water to acceptable levels.
Coastal erosion a serious concern
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Dr Winston Green
CONSTITUENCY: St Mary South Eastern
Two-term Member of Parliament for St Mary South Eastern, Dr Winston Green, last week highlighted the issue of coastal erosion in Annotto Bay, St Mary and asked the Government to address this serious environmental concern.
Speaking in the State of the Constituency Debate in Parliament, Green said he had reported the worsening coastal erosion problem to the relevant government agencies but to date "nothing of significance has been done".
"We cannot leave the town of Annotto Bay to the ravages of nature and I am proposing that even the boulder solution to form a barrier, somewhat similar to the Palisadoes Strip, be considered, even to a lesser magnitude," he said.
Commenting on the state of health centres in the constituency, Green, who is also a medical practitioner, said at least four of those facilities were in a deplorable condition. He said the Annotto Bay, Rock River, Clonmel and Enfield health centres were in urgent need of refurbishing and equipment. Green said a Food for the Poor building is to be erected in Castleton to relocate the health centre there, while the Belfield Clinic, which is infested with termite, is awaiting a retrofitted container to house the clinic.
On another matter, the MP urged the Government to expand the Graduate Work Experience Programme to accommodate more students, particularly those in rural communities.
The programme, which is managed by the National Youth Service, provides college graduates with work experience to increase their chances of finding employment.
He reported that under the Registered Apprenticeship Programme, more than 35 young people have been placed for on-the-job training. Further, Green said 45 youth are being trained for certification under the Unattached Youth Programme.