JIS News

The Values and Attitudes Competition, in which 51 primary schools across the island are participating, will end this month, with recognition of best practices in Values and Attitudes.
The competition was launched in December 2005 in St. James, Westmoreland and Hanover, which represents the Ministry of Education and Youth’s Region Four. The competition is a collaboration of the Guidance and Counselling Unit, and the Values and Attitudes Committee.
According to Convener of the Values and Attitudes programme, Dr. Heather Little-White the competition came as a result of the continued decline in values and attitudes among Jamaicans and the sharp increase in violence in schools.
The aim of the pilot project is two-fold. Firstly, it is anticipated that with a competition of this nature, good values and attitudes will be promoted among primary students between Grades Four to Six, which is the main target group.
Further, it is believed that the void created by lack of proper socialization in the home can be addressed in schools and therefore, she said, “the competition is part of a wider programme that is being developed to include high schools in the process of transformation of the education system. It is envisaged that students will become actively involved in the promotion of good values and attitudes by [practising] the message they are promoting,” she informed.
The competition requires student participation in three main categories including, an essay, poetry and poster competition. Dr. Little-White noted that the essay and poetry categories would be an integral part of Language Arts and the theme ‘For A Better Me, A Better You, A Better Jamaica’ would be explored.
The competition is being assessed by teachers from the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College and participating schools will be evaluated based on the appearance of the school compound; general attitude and behaviour of students at school, on the playfield, on the road or while commuting, and while in their uniforms; general deportment and the quality of pieces entered in the essay, poster or poetry competitions.
Judging will be done in two categories: Grades One to Three, and Grades Four to Six. The competition is expected to culminate with a prize giving ceremony and cultural presentations.
The competition will be fully supported by the Values and Attitudes Committee, which is drawn from a wide cross section of the society. Committee members include international football referee, Peter Prendergast, who will serve as Deputy Convener; Project Director of Change from Within, Pauletta Chevannes; Senior Director in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Science and Technology, Reginald Budhan; Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Senator, Prudence Kidd-Deans; Reverend Harris Cunningham of the Jamaica Council of Churches; Loveda Jones from the HEART Trust/National Training Agency; Principal of Haile Selassie High School, Claney Barnett; businessman, Robert Scott; Executive Director of Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), Georgia Scott; Social Worker and Educator at the Shortwood Teachers College, Winnie Anderson Brown; and Guidance Counsellor, Monica Holness.