No country can develop effectively without investing in its people and with the goal of empowering everyone, says Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica Masaya Fujiwara. This is why the Japanese Embassy’s development assistance program for the island focuses on protecting and empowering vulnerable groups in society, including children.
The Japanese diplomat explained that the purpose behind such emphasis is to achieve quality education through mutual learning that promotes sustainable development and builds a solid foundation for nation building and growth.
“Jamaica has great potential to advance its economic and social development as a progressive nation, and I also believe that there are many passionate Jamaican educators who are sincerely trying to develop the talents, skills, knowledge and abilities of their students,” Fujiwara said. at the grant signing ceremony on Thursday for the supply of two Toyota Coaster buses to Lacovia Secondary School in St Elizabeth. The grant is valued at $21 million and is part of the Japanese Embassy’s Grassroots Assistance and Human Security Project.
Delivering the keynote address at the Ministry of Education and Youth in Kingston, Fujiwara added, “Through this framework, we can also contribute to innovation, peace and stability in the international community.
“That is why our Embassy continues to work in tandem with all stakeholders to provide enhanced resources to strengthen the educational and learning environment for all children, who are beacons of hope and possibility. . . We believe that all students should have access to essential resources that will support their academic growth and development.”
The Grant Assistance for Grass Roots and Human Security Project supports critical areas such as health and emergency care, agriculture, community development, and education.
The two vehicles will go a long way in easing transportation issues for more than 1,200 students, said Lacovia High School Principal Ricardo Bennett. The Gleaner.
GRATEFUL FOR A TIMELY DONATION
“We are very grateful for this donation. This comes at a time when we are going through a pandemic and many schools have been negatively impacted, due to transportation challenges. Many of our students come from deep rural communities, so acquiring these buses at this time will alleviate many of the challenges we currently face,” he explained.
Bennett further pointed out that while the main purpose of the bus will be to transport students from home to school and back, it will also make a big difference when they have to go on field trips, sporting events and various other activities.
“It will really help reduce transportation costs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Education and Youth Minister Fayval Williams has admitted that the government’s rural bus scheme is not yet meeting the full demand that exists in the education sector.
“Transportation in rural Jamaica continues to pose a safety risk to students and staff. As is the case with a number of rural schools, students have to travel long distances without the required infrastructure like we have here in the city.
“We know that students who live outside of Kingston and St Andrew pay a lot for transport. When you look at the studies that have been done and the cost of school for parents, at the top of the list is transportation, and so this gift is a welcome donation,” she said.