OCHO RIOS, St Ann:
ASPIRING JAMAICA Labour Party (JLP) leader Audley Shaw believes he has a 'big idea' to rescue what he termed Jamaica's crisis of human underdevelopment.
Addressing party delegates at the Ocho Rios High School on Sunday night, Shaw said the Government should take over infant schools, especially those that are not being run properly, and train more teachers in early childhood education, including those teachers in infant schools who need training.
"We have 2,500 basic schools in Jamaica today, only about 500 of them are being run properly," Shaw stated. "Government must take over the infant school system in Jamaica. Every one that is below standard, Government has to take them over if we want to change this crisis of human underdevelopment."
"Don't tell me that's not a big idea; don't tell me that's not a big idea," Shaw went on. "And don't tell me we can't finance it because we can finance it."
allocation of funds
Shaw, who was in St Ann to drum up support for the November 10 JLP leadership elections against party leader Andrew Holness, said money could come from PetroCaribe and e-Learning funds.
"PetroCaribe fund alone, we have US$1 billion earning interests in banks in Jamaica. In the e-Learning programme, we have J$20 billion; J$125 billion those two alone; and what we need for infant schools? 10 billion? 15 billion? It's a matter of setting priorities; we can't be earning interest at the bank with money and our children are going through school illiterate."
Describing his idea as part of a vision of Team Shaw, he said the vision will be launched at a press conference on Thursday where much greater detail will emerge.
Shaw was supported by several well-known JLP members who appeared on stage with him, including Daryl Vaz, Michael Stern, Ruddy Spencer, Marisa Dalrymple Philibert, St Aubyn Bartlett, Othneil Lawrence, Dennis Meadows, and Dr Christopher Tufton.