Focus of Transformation Plans Must be on Youth Development – Principal


Principal of the Montego Bay Community College, Dr. Angela Samuels-Harris, has stressed that youth development must be the focus of the transformation plans for Jamaica. “If we are to address any of Jamaica’s problems, we must start with our youth,” she emphasised.
The Principal was addressing the annual general meeting and awards ceremony of the St. James 4-H Advisory Council, held at the St. John’s Methodist Church Hall in Montego Bay, on June 13.
Dr. Samuels-Harris said that no matter what plans were put in place for youth development, if the young people were not committed to developing themselves, then it would be a waste of time.
She pointed out that the National Youth Policy, published in 2004, has outlined several issues affecting the nation’s young people, along with six recommended target areas for youth development.
“The first suggestion in the Youth Development Policy is Education. However, despite the best efforts of your teachers, trainers and the Ministry of Education and Youth, there are many young people in our country, who are not taking advantage of the opportunities provided for them,” she said.
Dr. Samuels-Harris cited available job opportunities that go unnoticed by some young people, and the fact that some students do not even turn up for examinations, which are being paid for by the government.
“Young people, you must take advantage of the opportunities, because if we are going to empower our youth and transform Jamaica through youth development, then we cannot only take you to the water, you have to drink it,” she emphasised.
The Principal argued that transforming Jamaica was not too big a task to achieve, as all that was needed was for the young people to start concentrating on their personal development and the country would be well on its way to achieving the task. She added that it was one’s attitude to life and to work that would determine what one achieved in life.
Calvin Brown, Bryan Miller and Desmond Clarke were elected to the positions of Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer, respectively.
Several schools, principals, leaders, volunteers and supporting organizations received awards, along with clubbites who participated in various categories of skills training and the Parish Achievement Day, held earlier in the administrative year.
Ten year-old April Campbell of St. James Preparatory School and 12 year- old Leighton Walker of Corinaldi Avenue Primary School were awarded the St. James 4-H Girl and Boy of the year, respectively.

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