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Education the way out of poverty, says Kamla at Summit

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday voiced her opinions on education and development in the Americas at the first CEO Summit held in the margins of the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

She shared the stage for one hour with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.

The three women leaders discussed the topic "Education and Development" within the context of their respective nations and the Americas, a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said.

Persad-Bissessar said the only way out of poverty was through education, and urged regional leaders to place greater emphasis on achieving universal education.

She also discussed the importance of the contribution of the public and private sectors:

"Trinidad and Tobago recognises the fundamental role that collaborative efforts and public-private partnerships could play in improving education, productivity and development, and furthering economic and social developmental goals."

She showcased Trinidad and Tobago's efforts towards improving education using the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses Programme (GATE) as a shining example.

Earlier yesterday, Persad-Bissessar held talks with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper prior to the commencement of a Caricom-Canada meeting at the Sixth Summit of the Americas.

Harper extended his congratulations to the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago on celebrating 50 years of Independence.

Persad-Bissessar expressed her satisfaction with ongoing relations between the two Commonwealth nations with a particular focus on developing the local health care system:

"We have been collaborating with the T&T-based Canadian High Commission on all aspects of health care and a Canadian company has been identified to construct an oncology centre in Penal to treat with non-communicable diseases," she said.

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