First Look

Minister of Education reasoning flawed says G2K

G2K | 2014-01-22 00:00:00

Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), expresses profound disappointment with the manner in which the Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites, has treated with the JCF report, which attempts to link some high schools to high levels of criminality.

“While the organisation welcomes moves for intervention, especially in high schools which have had a record of underperformance, for the Minister to single out 18 high schools based on what can be best described as spurious linkages between the schools and their potential to create criminals is a travesty of the highest order and reveals a flawed approach by the Minister.” said Floyd Green, President of G2K.

G2K joins with the principals of each named school and shares their collective concern that information obtained from this study was not first discussed before making same public and that the information provided by the prisoners were not verified with the institutions.

“We expected the Minister to be mindful of his characterization of students and the schools they attend. For a school which graduates an average of 400 students a year, to be labeled as a breeding ground for criminals, because they possibly have 4 former students who are incarcerated is nonsensical. The Minister's remarks are inflammatory and devoid of any real empirical approach to collating and analyzing data. Not only has he demoralised the students at these institutions, but he has also stereotyped them as would be criminals and must be held accountable if our security forces single out students from any of here institutions and maltreat them in any respect.

G2K states unequivocally that NO school should ever be labeled as a breeding ground for criminals and urges the Minister to retract his statement. This is imperative, even more so as the majority of the schools are located in volatile inner city communities, where residents complain with much frequency of police brutality and cruel and inhuman treatment.

It is unfair and G2K urges the minister to be guided by the reports from the National Education Inspectorate in his selection of schools for the intervention programmes outlined. Additionally, the organisation asks that the Minister reconsiders his position in relation to the shelved plans to develop a special school dedicated to the rehabilitation of disruptive boys as was pursued under the former administration.

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