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Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson has charged students to become apostles in spreading the message of positive values and attitudes, as part of the process to reduce crime and violence among the youth.
She noted that young people were the main perpetrators and victims of crime and the scourge was costing the country billions of dollars in health care and security.
“It is costing the health sector some $800 million and the security forces another $10 billion to deal with the consequences of antisocial behaviour by our children,” the Minister pointed out, as she addressed the recent launch of ‘Valuable Pathways’, a values and attitude manual for high schools, at the Jamaica Conference Centre downtown Kingston.
The manual was developed by the Technical High Schools Development Project (THSDP) in collaboration with the HEART Trust/NTA and the National Values and Attitudes Programme, which was initiated by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and is being co-ordinated by Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman. Some 700 copies of the manual have been produced for distribution to secondary schools island wide.
Minister Henry-Wilson endorsed the manual as a “timely response to the prevalence of crime and violence, which is affecting all sectors of society”.
Meanwhile, Loveda Jones, Director of the THSDP, informed that the manual consisted of three modules targeted at students, teachers and parents, in order to help each target group inculcate the recommended values and attitudes.
It also highlights the “critical ten” core values, which are: respect for self, others, life, property the environment, law and order; honesty; kindness; love; justice; forgiveness; teamwork; learning; creativity and innovation; quality and accountability.The THSDP Director said that orientation sessions would be carried out with the schools, to discuss and determine the appropriate implementation and monitoring methods.
“It is incumbent on all of us to make this manual a success,” Mrs. Jones emphasized.