JAMAICA IS to be positioned as the technology and innovation hub of the Caribbean, says Prime Minister, Andrew Holness.
“We are known for our athletes, music, and culture. Now we must become known for being innovators and creators in science and technology,” he said.
He was making his contribution to the 2022-23 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives last Thursday.
Prime Minister Holness noted that one of the “systemic transformations of the education system” involves addressing the need for quality education and alignment with future job markets.
Against this backdrop, he said investing in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), is vital to producing new ideas and technologies that will “expand and increase the efficiency of our traditional industries”.
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“We must also create and invest in the industries of the future to diversify our industrial and productive base,” he added.
Holness also noted that the Government would continue to pursue its objective of building six new science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) schools and one performing arts school.
“Work has continued apace to identify lands, and we will be launching an Architectural Design Competition for the designs of these new schools,” he disclosed.
Additionally, he said the Coding in Schools Programme, which seeks to educate students from grade one to 13 on basic numeracy, language, and problem-solving skills is another strategic implementation that will position Jamaica as the “Silicon Valley of the region”.
“In our 60th year of Independence, as we look to the future, Jamaica cannot rely solely on the industries that have sustained us for the last 60 years,” he said.
“We are now firmly in the midst of a global technological revolution that is transforming the way we access information, communicate, learn, and even play,” he further pointed out.