A total of 270 grade six students from schools within the Trench Town, Hannah Town and Denham Town communities, downtown Kingston recently benefitted from life skills training, aimed at enhancing their socio-cultural skills and decorum.
The training was conducted as part of a Kingston Restoration Company (KRC)/Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) project, being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, which targets at-risk youth within West Kingston. The students also benefitted from tutorial assistance leading up to the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) earlier this year.
Speaking at a luncheon held on Tuesday (June 5) at the Mona Visitors Lodge in St. Andrew, to close the life skills training, KRC/CSJP Project Manager, Charmaine Muirhead, explained that the intervention began out of recognition of the power of combining educational achievements with the development of life skills.
She stated that “even though we recognise that a good academic background is necessary for success, we also recognise that there are other skills and tools that they need and, that is why the emphasis is on life skills."
Senior Education Specialist of the IDB, Cynthia Hobbs, charged the young people to be optimistic and goal-oriented.
She told them that they are special, with God-given unique characteristics and capabilities and they should always strive to achieve their desired goals and objectives. She also encouraged them to believe in their ability to become respectable and industrious citizens.
Mrs. Hobbs said that an important aspect of their development is identifying and selecting an adult mentor, who believes in them and who will guide them in making informed decisions about their future.
Urging them to take advantage of learning opportunities, she said that education is an important tool that can lead to social and economic mobility, and by extension, the development of the communities across the length and breadth of Jamaica.
“Every time you learn something new,” she said, “a new door opens for you,” while pointing to the fact that learning is a lifetime process that should be embraced by all Jamaicans.
Executive Director of the KRC, Morin Seymour expressed gratitude to the IDB for contributing to the work of the organisation.
The life skills training, which began in January 2012, gave the participants the opportunity to hone pertinent social skills that would enhance their individual development process, and the development of the communities to which they belong.
By Toni-Ann Russell, JIS PRO