JIS News

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme, to officially launch the programme in all secondary and tertiary institutions islandwide, within the next two years.
Minister of State in the Ministry, Dr. Donald Rhodd who signed the MOU yesterday (November 9), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, said the partnership would see the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme cross-cutting throughout the school clubs and societies.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme, which has been operating in Jamaica since the early 1960s, is a personal self-development kit for young people aged 14 to 25. The United Kingdom originated programme has four components – service to the community, life skills training, physical activities and adventure travels, such as hiking and camping.
Dr. Rhodd said that additional funds would be sought in the 2006/07 budget to get the programme up and running in all schools within the next two years.
“Fundamental to the plans of the Government of Jamaica for advancing youth development is the assumption that improving co-ordination and collaboration through an inter-sectoral and multi-sectoral approach, will advance the outcomes of our young people,” he said.
The State Minister said the fact that the programme existed in over 100 countries across the world, and with over five million participants, showed not only the tenacity, commitment and network of the programme, but also its international currency.
Dr. Rhodd further informed that in violence prone schools, a mandatory programme funded by HEART Trust/NTA would be implemented for grades 10 and 11 students, using the National Youth Service (NYS) trademark life skills or soft skills training in re-socialization, and that the Duke of Edinburgh Programme would essentially go beyond grades 10 and 11 “to provide students with life skills or soft skills and also to provide them with a reward programme for their hard work”.
He pointed out that such a programme would be launched in all secondary, high, technical, vocational and agricultural schools as well as tertiary institutions.
“I would therefore like to charge our stakeholders to be an active part of this process. I implore our youth-serving organizations to continue building our nation through programmes that will raise the standard of our students to a higher level,” the State Minister said.
Dr. Rhodd also charged the media, as key educators, to create and air programmes, which would edify our students, as “children live what they learn”. “We need, as a community, to also exhibit the positive attitude for others to emulate. Importantly, we need to remember that it is united as a people that we will fight the surge of anti-social behaviour and imbue the qualities needed for our youth to be world class citizens,” he said.