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This summer, some 300 children from communities in St. Andrew, are expected to benefit from the ‘Teach the Youth Programme’ organized by University of Technology’s (UTech) Student Union.
The programme, which began in July and ends on August 13, is targeting children between the ages of seven and 16 from the surrounding communities of Tavern, August Town, Gordon Town and Kintyre.
Twenty-seven teachers in the Jamaica Values and Attitudes Project (JAMVAT) will spearhead activities under the programme, which will be conducted at the community centres in the four areas.
Speaking at the launch held at Farquharson Hall, UTech recently, Director of Community Service, Sophie Bogle, said that the programme was focused on using different methods of teaching children, such as art and craft and drama.
In addition, she noted that the initiative was designed to develop the minds of the youth, giving them additional exposure to a world beyond the confines of their homes and schools.
The summer classes run from Monday to Thursday from 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. and the subjects taught are English, Mathematics, Information Technology, Personal Development, and Physical Education.
Motivational sessions will also be conducted, and they will cover leadership, cultural awareness, career and sex education, Ms. Bogle stated.
Highlights for this year’s summer school programme include field trips to private sector companies such as Pioneer Meats and Chippies, a reading competition, the much-anticipated Sports Day and an awards ceremony.
In the meantime, President-elect of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association, Hopeton Henry, lauded the programme, stating that it epitomized the “spirit, the heart and core of volunteerism and service”. “This is work without pay and without volunteerism and service, order would collapse in this country,” he pointed out.
He added that the programme was integral in restoring the values necessary to preserving the country, and it would help to move the youth away from the “bling” culture and “the narcissistic attitude of me, myself and I.”
Andrew Jackson, a representative of the Tavern community, urged all parents to cooperate with the programme to ensure its success. “Everything starts at home, even something as simple as preparing the children to arrive early at the camp, will help in instilling discipline,” he pointed out.
The programme, which is now in its seventh year, is being conducted at cost of some $400,000, annually. Last year, 260 children participated in the programme.