NEW YORK, March 22, 2022 - Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, has lauded the Jamaica Diaspora Education Task Force for staging its seventh education summit.
Declaring the one-week summit open at the Marymount College in New York on Monday March 21, Ambassador Marks pointed out that “the Government of Jamaica continues to invest heavily in its education sector”.
“We are aware that the strides made in this crucial sector will determine whether our economy continues at its current pace or leaps forward,” she said.
The Ambassador commended members of the Diaspora for the critical role they have played in the advancement of the Jamaican educational system over the years.
“It is no secret that Jamaica and the rest of the world continues to grapple with the disruptions to education caused by COVID-19. The pandemic widened pre-existing opportunity and achievement gaps, affecting disadvantaged students the hardest,” she noted.
“As stakeholders in the education process, it is vital that we make a concerted effort to lift the next generation by ‘teaching, learning, leading, and healing’. In Jamaica’s case, instilling critical-thinking skills and adapting to a dynamic digital world will help our island accomplish Vision 2030, achieve Sustainable Development Goals, grow the middle class, and unleash the latent talent and potential of our people,” Ambassador Marks added.
She said that over the past two years, persons have heard a lot about ‘learning loss’ and ‘learning recovery’, which are complicated matters for teachers across the globe.
“Thankfully, initiatives like this Summit offer a platform for the development and sharing of strategies to counteract the learning disruptions. I am confident that our Jamaican teachers participating in this Summit will leave equipped with and ready to share transformational tools to meet the challenges,” the Ambassador said.
She pointed to the work of the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, along with that of the Jamaican Diaspora, in “addressing the challenges to education caused by the pandemic, through the donation of tablets and other educational tools to students in need”.
“As an added measure, the Embassy, in partnership with the National Education Trust, is using the Adopt-A-School programme to address problems that impact the quality of education in Jamaica. As 2022 marks the year of Jamaica’s Diamond Jubilee, the Adopt-A-School programme presents us all with a unique opportunity to leave our fingerprints on a legacy project. More importantly, it gives our young people the chance to create and pursue their own legacy,” she said.
Ambassador Marks paid tribute to Jamaica’s teachers, and acknowledged the work of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA).
The Summit brings together some 60 Jamaican educators from varied backgrounds to participate in a weeklong series of workshops, seminars, panel discussions, and school tours.
The activities are aimed at leveraging vast diaspora expertise for capacity development within the educational landscape for a post-pandemic Jamaica.
This year’s Summit is being hosted by the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA) Inc. (UJAA) and the Marymount Manhattan College (MMC), on the college’s campus in New York.