85% Of Jamaicans Are Excluded From The Economy – Researcher

Stevian Simmonds reports.

Eighty-five percent of people born in Jamaica annually, are excluded from the economy.

That’s according to Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology at the Mico University College, Dr Albert Benjamin. 

He was addressing a Jamaica STEM Growth Task Force Consultative meeting this morning.

Dr Benjamin says there’s need to pursue what he calls a ‘STEM for all culture’ in Jamaica.

To make his case, for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, education, Dr Benjamin outlined the following statistics.

He says even fewer Jamaican students chose to sit science subjects.

Dr Benjamin says every child should have at least basic STEM knowledge.

It’s why Dr Benjamin says there’s a push to establish a local STEM centre.

He says this project will adopt initiatives used in other nations strong on STEM education, such as Finland.

Dr Benjamin says the local STEM centre will be modelled off two international institutions.

He says the STEM centres will focus on research and development, teacher education and popularizing a STEM culture.

At the Jamaica Labour Party’s 76th Annual Conference recently, Party Leader and Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that his administration is seeking to establish about six STEM Academies, with financial assistance from Chinese investors for three of the institutions.

Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.

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