JIS News

Postmaster General, Dr. Blossom O’Meally Nelson has called for the country’s education sector to enable school children to develop their creative processes, and not only focus on certification.
She argued that the educational sector had to reduce its “focus on certification and we have to move to look at helping our children to explore themselves, learn by discovery, learn problem solving, and learn analysis”.
Dr. O’Meally Nelson was delivering the main address at the Charter Banquet of the Rotary Club of Liguanea Plains, held at Eden Gardens on Lady Musgrave Road in Kingston on September 29.
The Postmaster General argued that some of the problems, which were now affecting the local education system, could be traced to the shift to the emphasis on certification, instead of transformation.
An environment solely geared towards having children certified, she noted, while well intentioned, was too rigid to allow for children’s creative processes to be developed.
On the issue of disciplining primary-aged school children, Dr. O’Meally Nelson noted that with the government removing corporal punishment from the classroom setting, the system of behaviour modification has been introduced as an alternative.
She said the practice of behaviour modification, however, was not an easy fix, as it was a system based on sanctions and rewards that worked best in classrooms of small sizes. “So if you are going to talk about behaviour modification, you have to have a class size that you can manage, you can’t have 50 or 60 children in a class and talk about behaviour modification,” she added.
On the matter of discipline in relation to adolescents, the Postmaster General said there was a dynamic cultural shift where there was the transmission of an alien type of culture through the movies, the cable, and the music.
“We have rapidly emerging lifestyles that are changing everything.the children live in a different world and when you take adolescence, which is a time of change, and put it on top of all that confusion.there is a disconnect between what is happening in the real world and the people who are trying to shape these young people. We now require dialogue,” Dr. O’Meally Nelson pointed out.
She said there was need to implement different methodologies to reach out to these culturally changing adolescents in the education sector, and subsequently, “adjust our standards, whether we like it or not, and we are going to have to find a way to bypass all of that and get to the person within”.
The Rotary Club of Liguanea Plains was officially chartered on June 30, 2005. There are 22 charter members, with Professor Errol Morrison elected to serve as the Club’s Charter President.
The service club’s focus will be on rendering assistance to young people, and health matters. Its major project will involve working with primary schools to promote enhanced life skills, such as good grooming, hygiene, conflict resolution, and fostering environmental pride.