JIS News

Education Minister, Rev. the Hon Ronald Thwaites, has renewed his call for churches to strengthen their involvement in schools, particularly those that were established by them.

Speaking at the official opening and dedication of the St. Cyprian’s Early Childhood Institution and Resource Centre in Highgate, St. Mary, on May 9, Rev. Thwaites noted that in several instances, where the State has assumed responsibility for aspects of the operations of several schools founded by churches, some of them (churches) have “pulled back” from their “engagement and responsibility”.

“It is time to reverse that. It is time for the churches to take back their schools. And, when I speak of the churches taking back their schools…I mean every person of faith and goodwill must go into the schools, not just for cursory devotion or to be present at graduation; but rather, to be the strong presence in the school at all times,” the Minister emphasized.

“Teachers must respect when members of the church come and (offer to assist),” Rev. Thwaites said.

The Minister said this position is not indicative of any “abandonment” by the administration of its responsibilities to these schools, but a recognition of the “indispensible” partnership between the State and the “largest and most organized groups of persons of goodwill in the Jamaican society.”

Additionally, the Minister said it is in recognition of the fact that the task of education “cannot be carried out by any one element, but requires all.”

The St. Cyprian’s Early Childhood Institution and Resource Centre was constructed over 18 months at a cost of approximately $80 million, under the Ministry of Education’s Enhancement of Basic Schools Project.

The institution was built on land owned by the St. Cyprian’s Anglican Church in Highgate, which heads the management team, comprising congregants and other residents of the community, as well as representatives of the St. Mary Early Childhood Board.

Contact: Douglas McIntosh

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