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  • With the new academic year set to get underway on September 7, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is reminding parents that every child under 18 years must attend school.
  • He said that no child must be kept at home without good cause, and no school should exclude a student, except for cause provided in the Education Code.
  • The Education Minister was speaking at a church service to officially launch the start of the 2015/16 academic year, at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Kingston on Sunday, September 6.

With the new academic year set to get underway on September 7, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is reminding parents that every child under 18 years must attend school.

He said that no child must be kept at home without good cause, and no school should exclude a student, except for cause provided in the Education Code.

“Education is the most important development tool. Therefore, every child between four and 18 years of age must go to school on Monday and stay in school,” he said.

The Education Minister was speaking at a church service to officially launch the start of the 2015/16 academic year, at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Kingston on Sunday, September 6.

He urged members of the church community to ensure that every child stays in school.

He noted that some 20 per cent of students attend school irregularly, some of whom eventually drop out.

“According to the Ministry of National Security, this is the group from which come persons, who run afoul of the law.  However, they are likely to stay away from crime if they are in school,” he pointed out.

The Education Minister is also calling on the church to work with schools in mentoring students and installing good values and attitudes.

“The church, along with the school and family, is one of the pillars of socialisation. You can offer yourself as a mentor. Some persons are already doing this, but the need is great for positive role models for our youth inside and outside of schools,” he said.

Archdeacon of Kingston and Rector of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, The Venerable Patrick Cunningham, in his sermon, noted that the church and home are not exempted from their functions in the training of the nation’s children.

“Each of us knows the type of adolescents we would like to see in the society, but it takes some amount of commitment and willpower to consciously add value to the lives of the nation’s children,” he said.

He charged members of the church community to play their part in the development of the future generation.

Also in attendance was Minister of Transport, Works and Housing and Member of Parliament for South St. Andrew, Hon. Dr. Omar Davis.