JIS News

Story Highlights

  • One thousand Safety and Security Officers will be placed in public schools this September.
  • For his part, Consulting Psychologist, Dr. Leahcim Semaj, welcomed the announcement for the new thrust for uniformed groups in public schools.
  • The NPSC was established in 2013, providing skills and services to support and strengthen positive parenting practices.

One thousand Safety and Security Officers will be placed in public schools this September.

“Safety and Security in schools is part of the strategic priorities of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. The programme is constantly under review and we are going to see some results in the coming years,” says Director for Safety and Security in Schools, in the Ministry, Assistant Superintendent Coleridge Minto.

He was speaking recently at a Town Hall meeting, hosted by the National Parenting Support Commission, at which the topic: ‘Raising Males to Become Extraordinary Gentlemen’ was discussed.

Mr. Minto said the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) launched a mentorship club in 40 schools last year, in order to provide role models for males and females.

“There are 450 volunteer pastors and police chaplains that are strategically placed across the island, who are willing to provide spiritual guidance and a moral compass to steer our young boys to where they belong,” he said.

Mr. Minto pointed out that greater emphasis will be placed on uniformed groups to increase discipline in schools.

“We feel that the presence of the groups will help with the disciplinary and behavioural problems we see. It will also teach the youngsters lessons they will not learn in the classroom,” he said.

For his part, Consulting Psychologist, Dr. Leahcim Semaj, welcomed the announcement for the new thrust for uniformed groups in public schools.

He recounted structured groups for males, such as Cadets, Cub Scouts, Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) that helped to transfer well-needed values and attitudes to him when he was young.

Dr. Semaj called for more male-oriented groups and organisations.   “There are about 287 women organisations, and how many do we have that focus on boys and men? We have to realise that there is a male energy that will become destructive if you do not transform it and socialise it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Volunteer Parent at the NPSC, Julia Smiley-Green, spoke to the audience about the challenges of single parenting.

“I think it is a struggle for single mothers who do not have a father who is present and consistently providing for the child. One of the things single mothers will do is spend a lot of time trying to find an economical way to take care of her child, rather than taking care of the other needs,” she said.

Mrs. Smiley-Green emphasised that it is important that parents strike a balance and ensure that they do not neglect the holistic development of their child, “because while it is important to provide for the child financially, you also have to think about the emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the child.”

She also highlighted that there is support for persons who need assistance with their parenting skills at the NPSC.

The NPSC was established in 2013, providing skills and services to support and strengthen positive parenting practices. The Commission also facilitates the development of an enabling environment in schools and communities to improve parenting practices.

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