Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
"I feel really good because I'm the youngest Silver Pen winner. I feel so happy right now!" exclaimed 19-year-old Lipton Matthews as he spoke to The Gleaner yesterday.
Matthews, a grade-13 student of Ardenne High School, sat beaming with joy as he had just been awarded the coveted Gleaner Silver Pen award for November 2012.
He won his first Silver Pen award for the letter titled 'Innovate to renovate Jamaica', which was published on Monday, November 12, 2012.
In the letter, which addressed the poor state of the Jamaican economy, Matthews argued that the productivity rate would only increase through innovation.
"I don't like the state of the country, and the people need to be enlightened. We need productivity and innovation. Our workers aren't trained properly, and because of that, we are not investor friendly," Matthews said.
He also made two suggestions that would lead to the development of the economy.
"We need to create a workforce development agency to train our workers in skills that are in demand such as ICT (information and communications technology) and biochemistry. The second suggestion is linking tax benefits to factors such as research and development. This has contributed significantly to economic growth in countries such as Finland," Matthews noted.
"If we do these things, then it may help us to be known as the education capital of the region. We should be known for more than just dancehall and reggae music," he added.
Matthews plans to pursue law at the University of the West Indies, starting in September. He also intends to enter the political field about which he is very passionate.
"We need to change the system of politics in Jamaica and appoint individual positions based on merit and not personality. We have too many dead weights in the Cabinet currently. The Government needs to wake up, and the prime minister needs to act or to resign," he said
"I will continue to write letters to The Gleaner because I am not pleased with the current state of the country. I believe we need leadership," he added.