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  • A number of re-socialisation programmes will be implemented in primary and secondary schools this year as the Ministry of Education intensifies efforts to address behavioural problems and reduce school violence.
  • The initiatives, some of which are being reintroduced, include the Health and Family Life Education, Valuable Pathways, Dream-A-World, and Change From Within (CFW).
  • Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites said the interventions aim to assist the Ministry and schools to more effectively address “negative behaviour tendencies,” affecting several schools.

A number of re-socialisation programmes will be implemented in primary and secondary schools this year as the Ministry of Education intensifies efforts to address behavioural problems and reduce school violence.

The initiatives, some of which are being reintroduced, include the Health and Family Life Education, Valuable Pathways, Dream-A-World, and Change From Within (CFW).

Portfolio Minister, Hon.  Rev. Ronald Thwaites, who made the announcement during his 2015/16 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, April 15, said the interventions aim to assist the Ministry and schools to more effectively address “negative behaviour tendencies,” affecting several schools.

The Health and Family Life Education programme, which is being reintroduced following a five-year run, between 2007 and 2012, is intended to assist students to make healthy lifestyle choices, with the understanding that the choices they make daily profoundly influence their health and personal development into adulthood.

Through Valuable Pathway, students will be assisted in embracing core values and  apply them to their daily lives. It provides a general overview of core values within the Jamaican context, and outlines practical ways in which these can be demonstrated.

The programme, which was developed in 2004 and implemented in all technical high schools, has been modified for full-roll out at the start of the 2015/16 academic year, in September.

The Dream-A-World project is being implemented by the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona Campus, through the Caribbean Institute for Mental Health and Substance Abuse (CARIMENSA).

Currently, it targets the poorest academic performers and most disruptive students entering Grade Four in 35 primary schools in Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Thomas, Portland, and St. Mary.

It is anticipated that within a year of implementation, this intervention will transform 1,000 youngsters, deemed to be failing academically and are behaviourally dysfunctional, into confident, disciplined, and high-achieving students for Grade Five.

The Change From Within Programme, which was also developed by the UWI, in 1992, seeks to curb violence and antisocial behaviour in schools, by taking a “whole-school” approach. It will build self-esteem among students, thereby improving their overall performance, while reducing violence.

Rev. Thwaites underscored the importance of implementing the re-socialisation programmes, beginning with those in Grade Seven.

“You have to help them to know themselves better, to (enhance their) proficiencies in literacy and numeracy, to establish their identity, and to learn about their bodies and responsible relationships. All of these things that will help them to (better adapt to) education (at) the valuable secondary level,” he said.