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JIS News

The management of the Half-Way-Tree Transportation Centre is on a mission to reduce loitering and acts of violence by students at the centre and is appealing to parents, principals, and other stakeholders in the education sector to assist the initiative, by monitoring the activities of students, who use the facility.
General Manager of the Half-Way-Tree Transportation Centre, Arthur McKenley, told JIS News that Principal of the Ardenne High School in Kingston, Esther Tyson, in response to the appeal, recently toured the centre and checked-up on her students.
“We are on a mission of involving stakeholders, principals, non-governmental organisations, the church, the police, parents, all stakeholders with an interest in the development of our students and their welfare, and the visit by Mrs. Tyson was a timely one,” he remarked.
“She toured the facility, so she now has a feel for the place. She was able to see the buses leaving, some of them leaving half empty with students still loitering around, who should be on those buses,” he further commented, noting that students sometimes use the bus system as an excuse for their tardiness.
According to Mr. McKenley, “the loitering, which exists, is commonplace at the centre in the mornings and afternoons” while most acts of violence result “from inter-school rivalry between some of our major boys’ schools, especially when it is approaching track season.”
He advised that the initiative to monitor students, who use the facility, will continue into early 2009 because “we want to be fully prepared to engage the students leading up to the track season so we can reduce the elements of loitering and build a positive image for the Transport Centre. We are very much setting those issues and objectives as targets for this exercise.”
In the meantime, he is calling on interested persons to get in touch with the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and be part of the solution to help the children.
“We are the watchmen over our children and we need to watch over our children…it takes a community to raise a child.and as we watch we need the presence of God and the church to ensure that our watching and our work are not in vain. So, we are asking, if you have an idea, a view, and a commitment to ensure that the next generation is fit and ready, there is a toll-free-number that you can call 1-888-JUTC-BUS,” Mr. McKenley urged.
“Please get in touch with the centre, the administrative department of the JUTC and let us know what your thoughts and your views are and become a part of the solution,” he further advised.
School principals, deans of discipline and other stakeholder groups will continue the initiative over the next few months by appearing at the centre to check up on the students as well as to get an understanding of the bus system.