Washington DC – Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid has called on members of the Jamaican Diaspora in the United States to partner with the government in establishing a national school bus system.
Senator Reid, who was speaking at a reception held in his honor at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington D.C., stated that his dream is to see a school bus transportation system that takes students from home to school and back.
The Minister informed the gathering that his ministry was looking to acquire 100 school buses over the next five years and urged members of the Diaspora to assist with this project as it will bring great benefits to parents and students especially in rural areas.
Rural students will benefit from the same level of subsidies enjoyed by students who use the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses. In rural communities, either students attend school periodically, arrive late, or in most cases they don’t turn up at all. This is because of the lack of a reliable school transportation system or parents just cannot afford the cost of public transportation.
The Minister also lauded members of the Diaspora and alumni associations for their continuous contributions to the education sector through scholarships and financial assistance.
The next major project in the Ministry is to build a total of 100 new high schools to accommodate the growing population of children entering the secondary education system.
The present education system needs 100 new schools. Seventeen will be built at a cost of $13 billion dollars. From this budget, five new schools will be built in 2018.