Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke and Education Minister Fayval Williams
Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke announced on Monday that the government will shortly be constructing the country's first STEM school.
He made this announcement at the signing of US$30 million loan agreement between the Jamaican Government and the World Bank, to support the Jamaica Education Project.
JEP seeks to improve the teaching and learning conditions for secondary education.
At the signing of the agreement in Kingston, Dr Clarke acknowledged that the country's growth is critically dependent on human capital development, which is driven by access to quality education.
It was very important to ensure that "educational outcomes in mathematics, science, technology and engineering subjects (are) dramatically improved," he said, even as he acknowledged the "critical' importance of the humanities as well.
According to him however, Jamaican students are doing better in the humanities than in the STEM subjects, adding that "in order to attract higher paying jobs we just need more and more Jamaicans who are qualified in these areas."
Accordingly, he confirmed that the first of six Jamaican STEM schools will be built shortly.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness had previosly announced the plan for the six STEM schools, but no specific timeframe had been given then for that programme to commence.
Education Minister Fayval Williams, who also spoke at the signing ceremony, stressed the government's commitmentto strengthening the teaching and learning experience in secondary education and the overall STEM ecducation framework.
The project is expected to benefit approximately 150,000 secondary students over its duration.