JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, Dr. Donald Rhodd has announced that the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme would be introduced in all schools across the island as early as next month. He pointed out that sensitization and orientation activities would begin next month by officers of the guidance and counselling departments, in conjunction with personnel from the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme.
Dr. Rhodd pointed out that the Ministry would be aiming to identify one or more teachers in each school to take charge of the programme in their respective schools.
The State Minister was speaking at the Duke of Edinburgh Award Jamaica Annual Bronze and Silver Awards Ceremony 2005, which was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on February 16.
Ninety young persons from across the island were presented with awards, while long and outstanding service awards were presented to Dane Clarke, national service co-ordinator; Jerome Gayle, national exhibition co-ordinator; and Joscelyn Chambers, general secretary of the programme in Jamaica.
Dr. Rhodd urged the awardees to continually seek to improve their leadership skills, a major goal of the programme.
“I would like to congratulate the team involved in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture has reviewed and analyzed the programme and I would like to announce that we are satisfied that the social benefits to be gained from this programme is deemed necessary and significant at this time, as it seeks to transform our education system,” he said.
In his presentation, Governor-General His Excellency Sir Howard Cooke congratulated the awardees, and reminded them that they are required to have special virtues and strength of character. “You are special and you are going to become the great leaders of Jamaica,” he said.
Sir Howard encouraged them to become “instruments of truth, instruments of honesty and instruments of integrity”, which in addition to their intellectual capacity, would not only allow them to dream dreams, but become persons of great performance.
David Clarke, Director of the Americas Duke of Edinburgh programme explained that the Award has been running internationally for 49 years. He said the programme was now in 115 countries around the world and was the national youth programme of 20 of those countries.
“Jamaica’s programme has always been a well developed programme. With the help of Dr. Rhodd, who will be taking it into all the secondary schools, it is going to expand dramatically. It means that every young person in school in Jamaica will have the opportunity of doing the award programme,” he said.
The Award programme, he explained was really a personal self-development kit for young people. “It is probably the best rounded programme for young people. It is not an organization, but a programme of activities that any young person can do,” he said.
Next year will be 50th anniversary of the award programme internationally. This will be hosted in Scotland. “Hopefully, we will have some young people from Jamaica who will demonstrate folklore history of Jamaica at that event,” Mr. Clarke said.