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Story Highlights

  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has called on schools to join with parents and guardians in raising a generation of peacemakers, who will shun acts of violence and war.
  • He said there are too many elements in the society, who uplift violence and disrespect.
  • He was addressing bereaved students and teachers at a special devotion held yesterday (March 5), at the Donald Quarrie High School in St. Andrew, to mourn the untimely death of 14-year-old Kayalicia Smith, who was a grade eight student at the institution.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has called on schools to join with parents and guardians in raising a generation of peacemakers, who will shun acts of violence and war.

He said there are too many elements in the society, who uplift violence and disrespect.  “We, in the school, from the early childhood level cascading up to primary and secondary, have to preach a different message,” Rev. Thwaites said.

He was addressing bereaved students and teachers at a special devotion held yesterday (March 5), at the Donald Quarrie High School in St. Andrew, to mourn the untimely death of 14-year-old Kayalicia Smith, who was a grade eight student at the institution.

Kayalicia was brutally murdered on Tuesday, March 3, at her home located in the farming community in Newlands, St. Thomas.

Rev. Thwaites led a team from the Ministry on a visit to the school to offer sympathy and support to the grieving students and teachers. They were joined by officials from neighbouring communities.

In expressing condolences to the slain student’s family and the school community, Minister Thwaites said the entire Jamaica is shocked at what has taken place.  “What a despicable way to treat another person,” he lamented.

“We, in education, must ensure that every child can learn and every child must learn, but not only should they learn to pass (exams) or to get letters behind their name, but learn to live as solid human beings. This places a tremendous responsibility on our educators and administrators,” he said.

Director for Safety and Security in Schools in the Ministry of Education, Sergeant Coleridge Minto, who was also in attendance, said society must take responsibility for the safety of the nation’s children.

He said that increasing the presence of the police in communities “will not solve all our problems.”

“We need to take a more corporate and community approach in dealing with the safety of our children,” he stressed.

“Although we have seen a reduction in critical incidences in our schools, we are losing a lot of our children in the communities and homes, so I am appealing to parents to get more involved,” he added.