KINGSTON — Correctional Officers based at institutions across the island, have been presented with tertiary education grants totalling $2 million to assist with their tuition.
Eighteen of a total of 20 persons received their cheques during a ceremony at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) Community and Institution office, Lockett Avenue, Kingston, on June 8.
Guest speaker at the event, Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Vivian Brown, said the Ministry has embraced the initiative undertaken by the DCS staff members to further their education.
“Any move to support educational advancement of persons who work within the Ministry’s varied departments and agencies is truly welcomed. Indeed, we see an educated workforce as one which redounds to the benefit of the Ministry itself,” he said.
Mr. Brown emphasised that it is important that individuals always seek to become lifelong learners, as this is an integral part of one’s personal development.
“Studies show that it is important for human beings to have a role and a sense of purpose. Hence, actively pursuing knowledge and, or skills can help you achieve both as well as the stimulation your brain needs to be healthy,” he said.
Commissioner of Corrections, Lieutenant Sean Prendergast, commended the Jamaica Federation of Corrections (JAFEDCO) for negotiating the grant funding allocation and praised the officers for “putting yourselves forward and seeing the need to improve yourself, so that you can get yourself more qualified in the end."
The officers will pursue studies in various fields, including social work, guidance and counselling, primary education, nursing, business studies, mechanical engineering, physical education and sports, child development, and paralegal studies.
As part of a wage agreement signed between the Government of Jamaica and JAFEDCO in November in 2006, the first batch of officers (19) received grants valued at close to $1 million in September 2007.
By ALECIA SMITH, JIS Reporter