DR OMAR Davies, member of parliament for South St Andrew, recently urged the men in his constituency to pursue further studies in an effort to bridge the education gap between men and women.
"We cannot proceed in a society where, repeatedly, at a tertiary institution, females are outnumbering our males. I have seen too many females who have to be hiding dem spouses in the corner, because they (females) are well-achieved, while their boyfriends, on the other hand, are not up to standard," Davies lamented during this year's launch of the Adult Continuing Education programme at the Avon Park Community Centre, St Andrew.
He added: "Females, talk to your husbands, talk to your boyfriends and your nephews and any male you get in contact with. Encourage them to get educated, encourage them to be part of the programme, because we will not refuse anybody. We have to be a society that's in total commitment to education."
More than 200 residents of the constituency will benefit from this year's programme. The initiative began in 2004.
Persons as old as 53 years old were among the students who registered and will have the opportunity to sit several subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate level, as well as improve their reading skills.
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, who was guest speaker, announced that come 2013, the Alternate High School Programme will be launched in an effort to promote lifelong learning.
Open to all
The minister said the initiative will resemble the JAMAL programme (Jamaica Movement for the Advancement of Literacy) which was implemented by former Prime Minister Michael Manley.
"If you can't read, come; if you can't manage you English so properly, come. Don't be ashamed, just come as you are. This is for the 15-year-old girl who was completing her studies and somewhere along the line, something happened; this is for the 16-year-old boy who started studies and, because of financial constraints, gave up and stopped," he said.
Making reference to the incident where students were sent home because of inappropriate attire, he emphasised that students ought to be mindful of what they wear.
"School is no ramping shop. Whether day school, night school or shift school, this tight-up pants and short skirt can't work," he declared.
- Jodi-Ann Gilpin