More Cadet Units to be Established in Schools

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer (standing), makes his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 16.

Story Highlights

  • More cadet units are to be established in schools in order to instil positive values and attitudes in the youth and steer them away from negative influences.
  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, says discussions are being held with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information in order to increase the number of secondary schools with cadet units by an additional 50 this year.
  • “We are targeting approximately 5,000 youth over the five-year period and intend to broaden the geographical scope. This project will play a monumental role in maximising the positive impact of the JCCF on the lives of youth in this country,” Mr. Spencer said.

More cadet units are to be established in schools in order to instil positive values and attitudes in the youth and steer them away from negative influences.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, says discussions are being held with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information in order to increase the number of secondary schools with cadet units by an additional 50 this year.

He informed that 10 institutions have established units since the last quarter of 2017 through the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF) Expansion Project (2017-2022).

“We are targeting approximately 5,000 youth over the five-year period and intend to broaden the geographical scope. This project will play a monumental role in maximising the positive impact of the JCCF on the lives of youth in this country,” Mr. Spencer said.

He was making his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 16.

Mr. Spencer said that the JCCF is an excellent organisation for imparting positive values and attitudes to young people. He noted that cadets are engaged in several community outreach projects and provide valuable assistance such as first-aid support at the annual Boys and Girl’s Athletics Championship and other events.

The State Minister said, however, that the JCCF’s potential for youth engagement has not been fully maximised.

“Therefore, we have steadfastly been reaching out to schools, especially in crime hotspots, to increase the number of cadet units across the island. This move is essential to expanding our reach to youth, especially those at risk of going down the path of crime and violence,” he noted.

“I intend to promote social development through youth engagement, facilitated by the JCCF and similar organisations that have the ability to reach the target group and help with positive diversion activities,” he added.

Since 1943, the JCCF, a voluntary paramilitary youth organisation under the remit of the Ministry of National Security, has served to instil discipline, develop leadership abilities and promote good citizenship among members.

Currently, there are 2,741 cadets in the approximately 81 secondary schools within the island and 285 adult volunteers, who are trained to lead and guide the young people enrolled in the programme.

Mr. Spencer said that the cadet units are prime conduits for dissemination of crime-prevention messages and conflict resolution skills.

He noted that the Ministry has designed a programme to leverage the principles of discipline, leadership and community service into the wider national youth population as part of its crime-prevention and engagement strategy.

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