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Story Highlights

  • Special attention will be given to the 56 schools identified, in order to assist them, by providing more resources.
  • The measures that are to be rolled out, apply to all 1,100 public schools in the island, not only the ones highlighted in the JCF study.
  • The Education Ministry therefore welcomed the opportunity to join hands with the Ministry of National Security through a school-based preventative initiative.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) study, which found that a high percentage of convicts attended particular secondary schools, is not meant to shame or blame any institution.

Rather, he said, special attention will be given to the 56 schools identified, in order to assist them, by providing more resources.

“It is simply to indicate those where the greatest help is necessary…there has been a change in philosophy in how we deal with education, consistent with the position of this government…we believe that the strongest deposit of resources should be made to those that are weakest, particularly where elements of that weakness are in fact causing great national distress,” Minister Thwaites stated at a Jamaica House Press briefing on January 23, at the Office of the Prime Minister.

He said the measures that are to be rolled out, apply to all 1,100 public schools in the island, not only the ones highlighted in the JCF study, or the National Education Inspectorate reports.

Rev. Thwaites invited all Jamaicans to examine ways to support schools, which need additional resources. He said that while many of the institutions had improved since the time of the report, many of them still need assistance.

He said the Ministry therefore welcomed the opportunity to join hands with the Ministry of National Security through a school-based preventative initiative, aimed at ameliorating crime in the society.

Meanwhile, National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, who also welcomed the partnership, urged the public to focus on the positives, which will result from the findings of the report.

“I don’t think anything there is inconsistent with a whole body of authoritative studies by academic and health professionals…but the central theme is that the school provides a critical opportunity for intervention, re-socialisation, for diversion from the criminal gang future, for these young people,” he stated.

Minister Thwaites announced in Parliament on Tuesday, January 21, when he tabled the report, that 56 schools across the island will receive special attention, as of February, to provide a school-based solution for crime and violence. The institutions include 18 non-traditional junior high/high schools.