The education emancipation continues and this is another stop on the emancipation tour. The bank of Jamaica has made the decision to withdraw from circulation all coins having less than 1 dollar in value and I was privileged to have had a conversation with Mr. Collington Powell (the principal of friendship Primary) and he mentioned to me an activity he had at his school relating to coins; that was shared with him by another principal and at the time of our conversation I felt this was an opportune time to awaken the spirit of our students and parents as well as bring great benefit to our schools. I also felt we had an opportunity to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit of our students and teachers and create additional opportunities for special projects to be delivered in our schools that will bring tremendous benefit to our students.
Out of this desire, with the blessing of the Honourable Minister of Education, Youth & Information, the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean and members of the Kiwanis family, was born the Project initiative ‘Education Makes Cents’
The project will seek to support the Bank of Jamaica in its effort to recall all red coins and have them exchange at their redeemable value and we have also seen that the challenge extends beyond the red coins. We currently have a situation in our country where the $1 coins are also being rejected by many people within the small business community, resulting in a situation where the first acceptable coin in many circles has now become the $5 coin. With this recognition, it was also felt that the collection would incorporate $1 dollar coins and where individuals felt compelled or otherwise, they could respond with other coins.
So based on the trajectory and the pre-emptive nature of the project, we are not limiting the coin drive to just red coins. We have noticed a shift in attitude towards coins and by utilizing the entrepreneurial spirit of our students, we will model the power of the collective and active spirit. The Latin: “sed parva forti” in English means “small but mighty” and this is what this project is about and what it fully embodies.