JIS News

The Jamaica Information Service (JIS) has added a new segment to its flagship Jamaica Magazine programme, in the form of ‘School Zone’, a 15-minute feature that highlights non-traditional high schools across Jamaica.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, has described ‘School Zone’ as a lively and interactive programme that gets into the psyche and lingo of young people.
“The JIS hopes to involve young people in the business of governance and seeks to help them articulate their own understanding of Government’s policies and programmes and how these affect them,” Mrs. Rowe explained in an interview with JIS News, and pointed out that the show highlights the positive happenings of various schools.
Mrs. Rowe further informed that, contrary to common belief, all is not lost, as young people are working hard, coming up with new and innovative ideas, and ‘School Zone’ will showcase it all.
‘School Zone’, which airs every Friday during Jamaica Magazine, is the brainchild of JIS Television producer, Ramona Lawson, who explained that the idea for the show came about as a result of her desire to do something exclusively for young people.
“School Zone makes a difference in terms of what I see happening these days, and youths not having a clear sense of who they are, and also becoming discouraged by so many things around them. I just wanted to give them something to boost their self- esteem in some sort of way,” she further explained.

Host of ‘School Zone’, Kerry-Anne Smith listens attentively to students of Haile Selassie High School, during the ‘Talk di Tings’ session during the recent production of the programme. Discussion topics on ‘School Zone’ include bleaching, parent and child relationship, what not to wear in school and other issues that are of concern to students. ‘School Zone’ is a 15-minute feature that highlights non traditional schools across Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Television Manager of the JIS, Shelly-Ann Harris, said that there are high hopes for School Zone.
“School Zone is a positive uplifting programme that serves to inspire the youth and engages them in airing their issues. We want to maintain the momentum as well as to ensure that we reach as many children as possible,” she said.
Mrs. Harris also noted that School Zone reflects the ongoing Transformation Programme from the Office of the Prime Minister and is really a transfer of values that are necessary to equip young people for the future.
According to the Producer, ‘School Zone’ has been getting a good response from the various schools, and pointed out that the students are very excited to become involved in the show.
“When we go to the schools, the students prepare for us. They get their classes ready, and prepare various talent pieces. The students feel comfortable discussing certain things with us, and even though it’s entertainment, it’s also therapy for most of the students who wouldn’t otherwise have an outlet to discuss the issues that are really troubling them,” Miss Lawson said.

Members of the Clan Carthy High School Drama Group perform in the ‘I’m so special’ segment of the ‘School Zone’, aired during Jamaica Magazine on Fridays.
‘School Zone’ is a 15-minute feature that highlights non traditional schools across Jamaica.

The discussion topics range from bleaching, to parent and child relationship, to what not to wear in school, and students are the centre of these discussions, as the show is all about giving the youth an outlet to have their voices heard.
‘School Zone’ has four main segments – a main feature, which highlights a school that has distinguished itself in one way or another; a talent section entitled ‘I’m so special’; a rap session; and a segment where Government Ministers or Heads of Government agencies address a policy framework or give advice on the issue being discussed.
‘School Zone’ is hosted by the vibrant Kerry-Anne Smith. Viewers can watch the show during Jamaica Magazine, which is aired on Television Jamaica (TVJ) at 5:00 P.M., CVM Television at 5:30 P.M., PBCJ at 7.30 p.m. and Love TV at 8:00 P.M and online at www.jis.gov.jm.

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