Kingston, Jamaica

21 September 2020: The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) would like to commend the Minister of Education, the Hon. Fayval Williams for the establishment of the Education COVID-19 Management Task Force.

“The creation of this task force is a positive development as it is effectively a form of social partnership which brings all stakeholders together to devise strategies and the execution of this plan for the reopening of schools. This is an approach that we encourage and endorse as it ensures transparency, engagement, and ownership of the objectives by a cross section of stakeholders. More importantly, it sends a message to the wider populace that all stakeholders are at the table, providing input in the creation of solutions, most importantly all hands are on deck,” said PSOJ President, Keith Duncan.

Risk-based approach endorsed

Duncan continued, “We also recognise the use of a risk and data driven evidence-based approach to guide the process of phased reopening of schools on October 5 based on a vulnerability index and risk ranking measure.

These are not normal times and so it will take this type of strategic and inclusive approach to ensure the most appropriate solutions are being implemented for the continuation of teaching, engagement and education of our children.”

Social partnerships work

The PSOJ holds firm to its position that social partnerships are highly effective when utilised and is encouraging that similar partnerships are initiated in the areas of the economic recovery programme and the management of the COVID-19 virus as we balance lives with livelihoods.

“It is not unprecedented. The examples are right there for us to use as an impetus:

Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), the National Partnership Council and the Electricity Sector Enterprise Team (ESET) are all social partnerships which have worked. We look forward to a similar approach being undertaken with regards to the economy and the management of COVID-19.

“One of the most critical partnerships that we are anticipating is the continued efforts on building the National Consensus on Crime and the establishment of the Crime Management Oversight Committee. As a country, we cannot afford for this partnership to fall by the wayside,” expressed Duncan.

Stand behind the Government of Jamaica

Education, crime reduction and the island’s economic recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic will only stand to benefit from social partnership vehicles. We stand in full support of the Government of Jamaica as it plans and executes the way forward and encourage the use of the social partnership vehicles in a genuine and impactful manner as unified “all of Jamaica response”, would go a very far way in moving Jamaica through this crisis that we face as a country.