“This school fits very neatly in our K (kindergarten) to 18 strategy. It is now viewed as a post-secondary (institution), and it needs to be reclassified and upgraded to become a full polytechnic, as we have done with the Trench Town Polytechnic. That will attract tertiary-level programmes, so that the students can achieve better certification and be better aligned to industry,” the Minister said.
He was speaking with JIS News following a visit to the institution on Tuesday (January 30). The Minister also visited St. James High School in Montego Bay, as well as Anchovy High School and Knockalva Technical High School.
The Minister said the Knockalva Agricultural School is in the process of “redefining itself”, and whilst the promotion of agriculture, agricultural science “and all the different skill sets and occupations and professions related to agriculture will continue to be its key focus, other disciplines such as maritime logistics and business process outsourcing (BPO) are being considered.
“We will be bringing education to the community, which was the original concept of community colleges, so you don’t have to go off to Kingston or Montego Bay. Right here in this community, tertiary education will become available to the young people and adults,” he said.
“The Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) and The Mico University College will also be partnering with them to build them up, and so participants in that programme will get Mico certification depending on what they want to do, or Caribbean Maritime University qualifications or other tertiary qualifications,” the Minister added.
Senator Reid argued that institutions such as the Knockalva Agricultural School will continue to play a key role in Jamaica’s development, as the nation’s economy is inextricably linked to agriculture.
“When agriculture does very well, the economy grows; when agriculture doesn’t do well, the economy declines,” the Minister said.
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