PM takes Values and Attitudes Campaign to Western Schools


When Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson officially opened the Frome Technical High School in Westmoreland, on Thursday, March 3, he also launched the values and attitudes programme in Region 4 schools, which comprises those institutions in St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.
The thinking is that inculcating good values and positive attitudes in the nation’s youth can only be achieved if there is a concerted and conscious effort in society to implement the campaign – especially in schools.
A programme of this type was successfully implemented last year at the Innswood High School in St. Catherine.
The school observed values and attitudes week in January of 2004, which saw the student body and school administrators coming together to discuss the issue of discipline. It was felt that such a week was not only imperative, but also timely in the context of what is taking place in Jamaica today.
The values and attitudes steering committee wanted to model this programme and take it to other schools and Reverend Marjorie Lewis, Convenor of the committee, is pleased that this goal has finally been realised.
“We are launching a school’s competition in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture and we hope, through this, to get more young people participating in discussions and setting up projects that will help to promote values and attitudes,” she observed.
Among the committee’s other activities, is the evaluation of the ‘Thinking Pink and Thinking Blue,’ manual, which was distributed last August, to persons who were in charge of summer camps. The guidebook is available on the values and attitudes website at www.valuesandattitudes.info.
This manual summarises the main theories and research on raising children, making allowances for the differences in gender and also contains exercises to be done by the camp counsellors and the campers.
“We are now in the process of evaluating the effectiveness of that particular intervention and receiving suggestions from those who used the document as to what they would like to see,” Rev. Lewis informed.
Meanwhile, the Convenor and the other members of the committee are working to improve the attitude and behaviour of the country’s politicians. “We are currently in negotiations with the leadership in Parliament and the Senate. We have wanted for some time to have a workshop for Parliamentarians and Senators to look at values and attitudes and governance,” Rev. Lewis told JIS News.
Also, the steering committee has intensified efforts to place values and attitudes on the agenda of every government ministry and have the different arms of government mainstream the objectives of the values and attitudes programme within their day-to-day operations. To date, there has been some success as the committee itself has been revamped and all ministries and agencies are now represented, Rev. Lewis noted.

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