Minister Keen On Initiatives To Aid Education

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If Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones gets his way, Barbadians could be asked to contribute to a social amenities levy that would assist this island???s education and health sectors.

Speaking yesterday at the Alleyne School???s Speech Day and Prize-giving ceremony Minister Jones said: ???We have two sectors in our country that are open to everyone that is health and education??? If we want to make them better we have to make a greater contribution to them specifically. So at some time we might have to ask the people of the country to contribute to what I will call a social amenities levy.???

He acknowledged that such a tax, set in the range of one to two percent, had the potential to generate some 18 million dollars and that this money, drawn from purchases made by the public, would be split evenly between health and education. With respect to education, he said the funds would go towards tertiary education and assisting with infrastructure.

The Education Minister also noted that scholarships could be on the way, for those who participate in the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships (BSSAC). ???Hopefully, I will take to the Cabinet sometime this year, maybe four or five scholarships with the same value, and, hopefully, with the same pedigree as we do for academics,??? he added.

The school???s efforts in sports and academics also came in for praise as the Minister congratulated Principal Julia Beckles who was appointed to that post last month.

At the recently-concluded BSSAC, the boys placed 11th and the girls 16th. In 2012-2013, the school???s overall pass rate for subjects taken at CXC General Proficiency level was 84 per cent, while in 2011-2012 it stood at 78 per cent.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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