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8.3 per cent of Caribbean children do not finish primary school

Published:Tuesday | October 16, 2012 | 12:18 PM

Charlene Stuart, Senior Staff Reporter

An independent publication commissioned by the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has found that one in 12 young people in the Caribbean and Latin America fail to complete primary school.

The report also found that these young people lack the skills needed for work and need alternative pathways to acquire basic skills for employment and prosperity.

The findings were published as part of a paid advertisement in today’s Gleaner by UNESCO.

The advertisement did not speak to the Jamaican scenario specifically, but the Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites says this issue is a documented fact.

While not commenting on the report directly since he wants a chance to study it, Thawites says the Ministry has taken steps to address the problem.

The report has urged governments and donors to continue to prioritise education.

It recommends that young people be given alternative pathways to learn foundation skills.

The report states that every one dollar spent on a person’s education yields US$10 to $15 in economic growth over that person’s working lifetime.

It says there’s also a learning crisis around the world, with 250 million children of primary school age unable to read or write, whether they are in school or not.

The UNESCO findings form part of this year’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report which is used as an authoritative reference.