On October 28, 2019, The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information held its Mathematics Workshop at the Jamaica Conference Centre. IAJ was one of the Sponsors of the Workshop. IAJ Vice President Vernon Jamaica who is also Managing Director of NCB Insurance Company Limited addressed the participants after being introduced by IAJ Executive Director Orville Johnson, OD. The following is an excerpt from Mr. James’ address:
“The Insurance Association of Jamaica(IAJ) is pleased to be one of the sponsors of this Mathematics workshop which we understand will sharpen the skills of our Maths teachers so they will be in a better position to impart their Maths knowledge to their students.
SUPPORT FOR MATHEMATICS
The Insurance Industry has been supporting Mathematics education for over 30 years, primarily due to our vested interest in providing actuaries whose work are critical to the workings of the insurance industry as they use their knowledge of mathematics to determine the risks of the events we insure as well as assisting in developing risk management programmes for the prudent investment of the premiums we collect. In more recent times they use mathematical models to predict the possible outcome of a range of events which are very critical to Executives and Boards of Directors when making business decisions.
Not withstanding our self interest we recognise the importance of mathematics to the learning process and the benefits that its mastery holds for firstly the individual student, the businesses that employ them, and indeed the Nation as a whole. Mathematics develop the type of skills that are in high demand in industry today and for the development of “Jamaica land We Love”. It encourages problem solving skills, most businesses are based on marketing a product or service that solves a problem for human beings. Insurance policies are sold to provide cash for the dependents when the bread winner dies, to repair the motor vehicle when it is damaged in an accident or to replace it if it is stolen. The Conference Centre was built to provide a facility where workshops like this can be held. But before a facility like this is built someone would have work out in specific terms the demand for the use of the space, and project how many persons would be prepared to pay to use the facility. They would have to estimate the cost of building, the cost of maintaining the facility and work out whether they would be able to recover the investments from estimated revenues. These are the kinds of decisions that both Businesses and Governments make daily all over the world. Persons who have the ability to handle these things are in great demand and are well paid for their services. Mathematics teaches problem- solving skills, analytical skills, critical thinking skills which are all essential for success. The truth is, persons who possess these skills also use them effectively to become successful in their own lives.”