Jamaica Gleaner / While National Hero Marcus Garvey left an indelible legacy for Jamaicans, his forward thinking and message of equality and the value of education for all has also transcended local shores, resonating as far away as South Korea in its search for national identity following the Korean War of 1950.
This was made clear by Young Gyu Lee, South Korean charge d’affaires to Jamaica, who told guests during his country’s National Foundation Day soiree at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge Thursday night that it was Garvey’s insistence on quality education that helped lay the groundwork for a productive and disciplined South Korea.
“Fifty years ago, Korea struggled tremendously with poverty. The Korean Peninsula was completely devastated by the Korean War, which lasted three years. To add insult to injury, the Peninsula has been divided into two nations in spite of a singular ethnic origin,” Young said.
“Under this severe hardship, we followed, in our own way, an educational adage from one of Jamaica’s most revered heroes, the Most Honourable Marcus Garvey, which says it is by education that we become prepared for our duties and responsibilities in life,” Young noted.
“Through Garvey’s insightful advise, we can say that we journeyed from poverty to prosperity. It was Garvey that said, ‘it is by education that we become prepared for our duties and responsibilities in life. We strongly agree with his idea, then and now.”
He said he understood Jamaica’s quest in striving for a more equitable, sound economy and strong development, as it aligns with the process South Korea endured after the three day Korean War, which separated the peninsula but which also gave birth to globally recognised brands such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai and Kia.
“Korea and this beautiful country Jamaica have a strong history of cooperation and we look forward to an increasingly stronger partnership,” the South Korean chief Diplomat in Jamaica said.
Jamaica and South Korea continue to share 55 years of cooperative partnership since 1962 with Jamaican students benefiting from a number of Korean government sponsored scholarships.
Korea provides assistance to Jamaica through in areas such as:
– Yearly multimillion-dollar scholarship opportunities to Jamaican youths.
– A modernised system to issue land titles in three parishes (Portland, St Ann and St Mary).
– A high-tech system for file-keeping for the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ).
– Jamaica’s National Identification System (NIDS) workers’ participation in Korea’s system.
– The upcoming video monitoring systems in Hellshire, as part of a strategic response to climate change.