Jamaica's Prime Minister Endorses New Education TV Channel

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness has endorsed plans by the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) to establish a dedicated free-to-air education channel.

PBCJAMPrime Minister Holness (third from the left) symbolically presents a J$20 million check to the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica. (JIS Photo)This will be the second locally targeting content for early childhood, primary and secondary students.

The Corporation has received J$20 million from the Universal Service Fund (USF) to procure cutting edge equipment that will facilitate high-definition 24-hour daily transmissions when the channel becomes operational.

At a handover ceremony on Friday, the Prime Minister, who was the main speaker, noted that consequent to the losses suffered by the education sector to the COVID-19 pandemic, “we are not going to be able to regain lost ground, merely by putting our children back in school.”

He said consideration must be given to supporting interventions by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to supplement the resumption of face-to-face instructional delivery.

These, the Prime Minister pointed out, include extended hours and special programs for some children, and deeper integration of digital platforms.

“It may mean that on weekends we still would have to continue with some of our programs… using this very channel that we are funding,” Holness said.

He also urged parents to sit with their children when the channel is operational.