Minister of Education, Rev. Hon. Ronald Thwaites, says the Ministry intends to place greater focus on its behavioural change programme in schools, to better address the problem of disruptive students.
Speaking at a ceremony to commemorate Peace Day 2012, at the Gleaner Sports Club, downtown, Kingston on March 6, Rev. Thwaites said the success of the Ministry’s programmes aimed at improving literacy and numeracy not only depends on improving instruction in these areas but also on tackling antisocial behavior exhibited by students.
He stressed that instilling the proper values in students from an early age was important in curtailing behavioural problems later on in their lives.
"The earlier we inculcate the habits of peace, of good relationships and community, the more likely they are to become embedded in the DNA of our young people. We must get it right the first time and therefore it is extremely important that we emphasize the inculcation of these values at the earliest stage of our children’s education," he said.
Minister Thwaites said that addressing this issue among the country’s youngest citizens was critical to the nation achieving the goals identified in the national development plan Vision 2030 Jamaica.
“Unless we find ways to relate to each other, that are peaceful, non-confrontational and that are constructive and are considerate of one another, no amount of wealth, no amount of investment is going to solve our social maladies and allow us to become happy people to achieve our very illustrious 2030 objectives,” he said.
Rev. Thwaites further noted that the Ministry would continue to partner with agencies such as Peace and Love in Society (PALS) in expanding its behavioural modification programme.
The 15th annual observance of Peace Day, was held under the theme ‘Love Jamaica, Live in Peace’.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter