KINGSTON — Former prime minister and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party, Edward Seaga, says Jamaica’s failed education system is to be blamed for the injustices that permeate society.
Seaga made the remark during his address to guests at the JLP’s inaugural Founders Day lecture held to commemorate the party’s 70th anniversary last week Monday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
According to Seaga, the number of “uneducated” students graduating from schools each year far outweighs those who leave educated.
“Every year, schools graduate twice as many students who are uneducated as those with an education. This is the wellspring of poverty, the source from which all injustice is derived, the splitting of the society into first and second-class citizens,” he said.
He argued that the constitutional rights of all citizens under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms were not being observed, as the educated and rich minority is seen as first class while the uneducated and poor majority is regarded as second-class.
“All men are equal under the law, says the Constitution. But, in practice, we ignore this precept honouring some as first-class citizens but ignoring the great majority as second-class,” he said.
“They lack education and the will to work, condemning themselves to the 70 per cent of the population [who] are dependent on others for help,” he added.
He dismissed the notion that the uneducated majority is ignored because of their inability to make an effective contribution to nation building.
“The building of the nation will rest on the 30 per cent who are more privileged but they are insufficient to give the nation growth,” he stressed.
He explained that until all men have equal respect and equal education, they cannot contribute equally because the uneducated, who eventually ends up poor, would be unwilling and unable.
This unfortunate state of the Jamaican society, Seaga implied, is fuelled by an ineffective and failing education system, as the uneducated are left behind with crippled careers, while the educated go forward, therefore, supporting a never-ending trend of poverty and injustice for those uneducated. (Observer)