Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, says the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF) continues to make a significant contribution to national development by instilling discipline and positive values and attitudes in the youth, in order to steer them away from negative influences.
He said that the organisation has been a beacon of hope for the country’s most at-risk youth, and since its establishment in 1943, has provided the country with a cadre of young men and women who have displayed the qualities of leadership and good citizenship.
“I daresay, your role is now more important as crime and its elements continue to affect the Jamaican society… If we are going to make the change that we all want for our country, it must start with our youth, and that makes the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force that much more important to our development,” he said.
Senator Samuda was addressing a graduation ceremony at Curphey Place in St. Andrew on July 16 for 66 certified officers and adult instructors of the JCCF, who participated in a 12-week online training exercise.
The training was facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Gomex Institute of Technology and the HEART Trust/NTSA.
The volunteer officers are from a wide cross section of corporate Jamaica, and include professionals such as engineers, airline pilots, medical doctors, surveyors, and educators.
Senator Samuda commended the officers and adult instructors for their involvement in the training programme, noting that they have been “furnished with modern approaches to tap into the creative energy of the youth and to keep them engaged using updated methodologies”.
“The training will further boost the rehabilitation transformation agenda of the Ministry,” he pointed out.
He hailed the adult volunteers, in particular, for lending their time, energy and resources for the betterment of the nation’s youth.
“The cadets, with your assistance, will successfully matriculate into the security forces, such as the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Department of Correctional Services. This is a welcome new reality,” he noted.
Senator Samuda pledged that the National Security Ministry will continue to support the work of the JCCF in fostering discipline, noting that some of the issues that have been brought to his attention following discussions with the leadership of the organisation will be addressed.
Course participant, Lt. Col. Rohan Robinson, said that the impact of the competency-based education and training programme has been profound.
“I have found that it has made me a better manager, a better parent and I am now more aware of each person’s different learning styles and [will] be able to recognise the difference and adapt to it. I am very optimistic that with this learning, the JCCF and Jamaica will advance, as many of our officers are themselves teachers,” he said.
The JCCF, a voluntary paramilitary youth organisation under the National Security Ministry, serves to instil discipline, develop leadership abilities and promote good citizenship among members.
It caters to young people between the ages of 11 and 18 years in approximately 104 high schools.