JIS News

State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, Dr. Donald Rhodd has assured student leaders that the National Youth Policy would be finalized by Cabinet, later this month, for dissemination to the nation’s youth.
He was addressing members of the National Secondary Students’ Council at the launch of Students’ Council Week on Wednesday (Feb. 4), which will be observed, February 8 – 13.
“We are serious about this intention that youth and students should have the opportunity at the highest level to access the decision-making bodies in the country,” he said.
Pointing out that a whole section of the Policy spoke to the empowerment of students and youth, Dr. Rhodd noted that the launch of Students’ Council Week represented another step along the journey towards Jamaican students and youth getting the opportunity to participate fully in the significant activities of the country.
Director of the National Centre for Youth Development, Ohene Blake, in his remarks, urged Parliament to place the issues affecting youth on the ‘front burner and the fast track’.
“The faster that we have this policy implemented and the subsequent National Strategic Plan for Youth Development enacted, the better it will be for all our youth,” he emphasized.
The National Centre for Youth Development has among its responsibilities, the task of coordinating activities for the NSSC, the umbrella organization for student councils.
The NSSC is the only youth organization legislated by an Act of Parliament, that is, the Education Act (1980). As a student advocacy movement, it represents approximately 250,000 students in the secondary school system island-wide.
In addressing his fellow colleagues, President of the NSSC, Diego Morris said that students were the best resource for promoting their development.
“Students must be involved in the decision-making process of educational institutions if for nothing else, than that they are the primary beneficiaries of the education system,” he said.
The NSSC’s week of activities begins with a National Students’ Church Service this Sunday at the Ocho Rios Baptist Church at 10:00 a.m. Other activities include a Local Council Day (Feb. 11), which will see fundraising activities aimed at supporting school development projects.
A Student Council Exchange Day has also been organized for Tuesday (Feb. 10), which involves students visiting other schools and participating in classes and other activities. It is an avenue through which student councils strengthen their network, exchange ideas and is seen as an invaluable cultural experience. Next Friday will be observed as Students’ Labour Day, a workday focusing on school development projects, beautification and cleaning of school premises.
In addition to Students’ Council Week, the NSSC through the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD), is sponsoring a national competition for the design of a logo for the organization. The winning entry will be unveiled at the NSSC elections to be held on April 2, 2004, at which time the winner(s) of the competition and the runners-up will be publicly acknowledged.

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