JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has added her voice to the “clarion call” for churches to reengage its mission of values training.
  • Mrs Simpson Miller reasoned that in the past, children were brought up with strong values and morals which need to be recaptured in today’s society.
  • The Prime Minister noted the strong importance Cedar Grove Academy placed on character education and excellence.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has added her voice to the “clarion call” for churches to reengage its mission of values training by reaching the country’s youths through an increased partnership with the education sector.

Describing the church’s contribution to society as “large and legendary”, the Prime Minister said: “It is arguable that when the church had a more vibrant presence in our schools the society was better for it.” The Prime Minister made these comments yesterday (February 20) at the dedication ceremony of the Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore, St Catherine which is a partnership between the Ministry of Education and the New Testament Church of God in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

The Prime Minister said the establishment of this institution represents an excellent demonstration of partnership between Government and the church in the critical education sector. Mrs Simpson Miller reasoned that in the past, children were brought up with strong values and morals which need to be recaptured in today’s society.

“We are talking about molding students who are prepared to take on the tough challenges of life including the tasks of economic development and building a productive society. When we talk about our students we are talking about students who can raise the productivity levels of this country and who can compete with those in Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Poland.”

“Groups like the New Testament Church of God have a lot to offer our young people by way of character education and I maintain that character education leads to a successful, productive life which leads to the economic development of a nation. Some of our learning problems in schools relate not to mental dysfunction but are behavioural therefore education cannot be disconnected from character and this is why values and attitudes are critically important.”

The Prime Minister noted the strong importance Cedar Grove Academy placed on character education and excellence and implored the students to grasp this quality education. She also urged parents to give their children their full support which is critical to the development of their potential.

The Cedar Grove Academy opened its doors in September 2013 and boasts a population of 96 seventh graders and 35 sixth formers. The school is operated under a STEM culture which places special emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.