Young Persons Urged to Take Advantage of Low Fees at Community Colleges

Governor General His Excellency the Most Hon. Patrick Allen, addresses the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica’s annual conference, held at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel, in St. James, on January 6. (Photo: Garwin Davis)

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says  young people should take advantage of the low tuition fees paid for obtaining accredited certificates, diplomas, associate degrees and even bachelor programmes from community colleges across Jamaica.

The Governor-General, who was the keynote speaker at the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica’s annual conference on January 6, at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel, St. James, added that a quality education is not only an invaluable tool, but is the surest thing to move someone from abject poverty towards social mobility.
“Let me assert that the contribution of community colleges has been and will continue to be a major factor in the reduction of poverty and in addressing a range of social ills, which accrue from the dehumanizing experience of unemployment,” he said.
“Education is a priceless gift. There is an old American proverb which says that: ‘Education is a gift that none can take away.’ Through education, many persons have been propelled from poverty and obscurity to fame and influence,” the Governor-General added.
He said it is an undisputed fact that education is the catalyst…the bridge that has and continues to provide the escape route from poverty and hopelessness.
“For every country recording impressive economic performance, education has been a major contributor to its success,” the Governor-General said, adding that education must be of high quality, relevant, applicable, affordable and accessible to all.
He emphasized that educational institutions, such as Community Colleges, must therefore prepare students to compete on a global scale, now and in the future.
“To be productive and equipped to take advantage of opportunities available globally, countries such as ours must keep up with the times in areas such as Information Technology (IT).  We cannot be in kindergarten, when our competitors are producing at mastery level,” the Governor-General said.
He said that consistent with the Jamaican situation, research done by the USA based Georgetown Centre on  Education and the Workforce, shows that by 2020, 65 per cent of all American jobs will require some form of post-secondary degree or credential, but the current rate at which universities are awarding them will fall short by roughly 5 million.
“This is why we see businesses and policymakers are increasingly turning to community colleges to help fill these workforce gaps,” the Governor-General informed.
“Therefore, I encourage you to intensify your recruitment efforts by finding innovative ways to promote the dynamic academic, vocational and entrepreneurial offerings of community colleges,” he told the conference.