- Seventy-five Jamaicans have answered the call to give back to their former high schools through the National Mentorship Programme.
- The cohort was presented with their instruments of appointment during a ceremony at King’s House on March 28.
- The National Mentorship Programme is an element of the National Respect Agenda Campaign (NRAC), where past students are invited to act as mentors at the class level, at their high schools.
Seventy-five Jamaicans have answered the call to give back to their former high schools, by promoting positive values and attitudes in youngsters through the National Mentorship Programme.
The cohort, which consists of individuals from various professions, was presented with their instruments of appointment during a ceremony at King’s House on March 28.
The National Mentorship Programme is an element of the National Respect Agenda Campaign (NRAC), where past students are invited to act as mentors at the class level, at their high schools.
The NRAC is one component of the Jamaica Re-socialisation Programme (JRP), which is being implemented by the Jamaica Re-socialisation Alliance (JRA) under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
These partnerships are aimed at raising academic standards; transforming students’ behaviour; and promoting national re-socialisation in civil values and attitudes.
Speaking at the ceremony, Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen commended the group for investing in service to the students of their respective alma maters.
He noted that while many of them are already involved in support projects for their schools, their readiness to serve validates a willingness to give back.
The Governor-General said a concerted effort should be made to build the characters of young people, particularly since they are being exposed daily to negative behaviours.
“We have to maintain the support for our students especially in these times of competing value systems and the attraction many of our youth feel towards poor role models. There is ample evidence that our schools are under attack, too many students have lost their self-respect and some are either victims or perpetrators of crime,” he said.
He urged the past students to use their positions in life to inspire their mentees.
“You who are national mentors can bond in a special way to the students in your alma mater and serve and connect with them as mentees. This is the specific value-added which this mentorship programme brings to our schools,” he said.
Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites charged the mentors to challenge their mentees to excel.
“Make sure that every time you meet with them, you have something valuable to leave with them. See your mentees as a legacy and a contribution to national development…strive to do an excellent job so that they will remember you in their later years for the impact you had on their lives,” he said in a message read by Executive Director, National Parent Support Commission, Dr. Patrece Charles Freeman.
Programme Coordinator for the NRAC, Reginald Budhan encouraged more persons to support the cause. He added that the main purpose of the Respect Agenda is to give real and practical meaning to the Vision 2030 National Development Plan, which is aimed at making Jamaica a place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.
Mentor, Dr. Elizabeth Watson, who spoke on behalf of the group said they are committed to development of the initiative.
“Mentors, let us commit to be role models, respect for ourselves and others will be the catalyst of change in this our land of wood and water…we have taken the first steps for the change, a change that will definitely have an impact on our children, and our future generation,” she said.