JIS News

The Vere Technical High School in Clarendon, as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations this year, has launched two community initiatives to benefit the elderly and semi-literate persons.
Making the announcement at a health fair for senior citizens held recently on the school grounds, Acting Vice Principal of the institution, Sadie Lewis, said that the literacy programme will empower persons, so that they can contribute more fully to their own development and the wider community.
“We believe in fostering good school/community partnership that will build the society in which we operate,” she said.
She explained that the programme targets persons age 20 to 45 years, who are reading and writing at the grade three literacy level and will be conducted on the school compound from Mondays to Thursdays, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., with one hour dedicated to each subject area.
“Tutorials will take place with the use of technology and creative strategies, so that we can motivate learning,” she stated.
In the meantime, the programme for the elderly will be run by sixth form students, who will visit the homes of the senior citizens, to spend quality time with them and see to some basic needs.
“While also increasing the confidence and independence of our participants, there is the potential for social connections. These small things make a big difference in the seniors’ quality of life and it will reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness amongst the elderly, and encourage our senior students to serve others,” explained school principal, Dr. Henrietta Stewart.
Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for South East Clarendon, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, who was the main speaker at the health fair, lauded the initiatives, especially the focus on the elderly.
“Your focus on the elderly is a reminder that education means more than achieving academic success. Of equal importance are the values of compassion, love, kindness, sharing and giving. It is these values that will determine a country’s ability to lift up itself from despair, hopelessness and poverty. Despite the many challenges that we face as a nation, it is this indomitable spirit, the deep sense of responsibility that we still feel for each other, that have kept us going,” he said.