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The National Schools’ Poster and Essay Competitions were officially launched today (Oct. 17) in an effort to provide young people with channels through which to voice their opinions on measures, which may be implemented to curtail crime and violence in the country.
The competitions, organised by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in association with the National Transformation Programme (NTP) also referred to as Fresh Start and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will be staged under the theme: ‘Community Policing and Community Safety – A Fresh Start for Jamaica’.
The theme of the competitions is in support of the JCF’s Community Policing and Community Safety Initiatives. The competitions seek to mobilise and motivate youths while effecting change, which will have a lasting transformation in the attitude towards the police, while recognising the need for collaborative efforts in the fight against crime and violence.
Addressing the launch, at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Clarence Taylor, said that there is no doubt, that children and young adults occupy a vulnerable position in the society, and therefore will need to be sensitised about the dangers, best practises, and resources available to keep them out of harms way.
He added that “our best practise, [which] we want to emphasise, is socially responsible behaviour towards self and others.”
The Assistant Commissioner pointed out that the competitions are of significant importance, noting that “the essay version will be used as a medium to engage youths and open lines of communication, facilitate their [youths] learning of the JCF, its mandate and services, and to provide for the police, honest feedbacks which can be expected from the frankness children bring.”
“Undoubtedly,” he continued, “the poster competition, in its inaugural staging, will add some excitement as the new avenue for expression this year. This year’s theme offers participants a chance to envision and share their ideas, of a fresh start for Jamaica and the part the JCF will play, is engaging our youths in this venture.”
He implored the competitors to be honest and frank throughout the competitions, encouraging them to use it as a way of initiating dialogue with the police, to learn how to protect themselves at school, home, and in the wider community.
“When you begin your research for your essay or poster, you should get an insight about the police youth club, its summer camp, youth clubs, and many other social activities in which you may participate,” he said.
National Director, NTP, Reverend Al Miller, in his remarks said every citizen must play their part in creating safer communities, and fighting crime and violence.
He noted that every Jamaican can make a difference, and implored the children to start making a difference from an early age.
The essay competition is open to all students [early childhood to secondary institutions] enrolled in schools island wide under the age of 18 years, and eligible persons may submit one essay in English, which should not exceed 2,000 words. In addition, all works cited must be appropriately acknowledged.
The age categories for the competition are: up to seven years; eight to 12 years; and 13 to 18 years. The closing date for submission is Friday, January 30, 2009.
For the poster competition, the general guidelines are: a maximum of four posters per school; a legibly written or typed abstract of 150 words or less submitted with the entry, provision of adequate information for judging; posters should be clearly identified with the full names of the student, teacher, and the school; designs may be drawn by hand using appropriate material such as paint, pencil, pencil crayons, pastel (oil or chalk); and any surface type may be used for creativity.
Additionally, for students in the up to seven years, and eight to 12 categories, the minimum size allowed is letter-sized posters. The minimum size allowed for students in the 13 to 18 years category is 17X 22 inches, and the maximum is 33X 22 inches.
The deadline for the submission of the posters is Friday, November 21, 2008 at 3:00 p.m., and they should be submitted to the nearest regional office of the Ministry of Education or directly to the JCF Community Safety and Security Branch.
Members and family members of the JCF, the NTP, the USAID, and Corporate Affairs Research and Advertising (CARA) are ineligible to enter. Additional queries may be emailed to: jcfpostercompetition@gmail.com.