Leave No School behind - Hill
Senator Aubyn Hill has urged the Ministry of Education to ensure that there is equity in the distribution of resources in schools across the island.
Hill, who is also the executive director of the Economic Growth Council, was responding to concerns that were raised at the Book Merchant Limited's Amazing Mathematics Powers workshop, where teachers were urged to utilise the various avenues of technology to improve learning, specifically of mathematics.
The teachers, however, lamented that rural schools especially continue to be at a disadvantage as resources are scarce, leaving them to barely make do with what they have.
Hill, said that while teachers should be creative, it is the responsibility of policymakers to make sure that resources are shared equally across all schools.
"What I hear coming out is equity. In other words, Jamaican pickney up in the hills of Manchester or St Elizabeth have equal rights to the child in Norbrook and Cherry Gardens. I grew up in the country, so I know it's (lack of resources) true. We need to make sure that there is a concerted effort," he declared.
Hill added: "If it's the pit latrine, if they need computers, fix it. Please, let us get some equity in place. Just as how I challenged the PSOJ (Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica) to spend their money to assess skill sets in the country, I'm challenging the people who spend $100 billion in education to make sure that there's a lot more equity in the countryside similar to Kingston."
The senator added, "Equity is about being fair. Taxpayers' money must be treated fairly."
Pauline Thames Baker, regional mathematics coordinator at the Ministry of Education, noted the concerns but indicated that the ministry has been working with all schools in ensuring that students acquire the highest standard of learning.