JIS: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has lauded educators at the Bog Walk High School in St. Catherine for implementing the ‘Boys Big-Up Programme’, which rewards boys for displaying good behaviour and deportment.
“It is important that we recognise that there are differences in how boys and girls learn within the education system. I can see that this is one way in which the system is responding, and I believe it is to the credit of the administration of the school to do this. This initiative is worthy of praise, and I want to extend my own recognition and congratulations to you for doing this,” Prime Minister Holness said.
He was addressing students from the school who are members of the ‘Boys Big-Up Programme’ when they called on him, today (April 25) at Jamaica House.
Mr. Holness said that there is, emerging within the Jamaican culture, a rejection of being disciplined, adding that the value system in the society has “been turned on its head”.
“What is praised is how bad you can do things, instead of how good you can do things. So, I see this as an attempt to counteract the counterculture that is becoming the mainstream culture. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being properly groomed and well spoken,” he told the students.
The Prime Minister also emphasised that school is a training ground for them to be able to meet the standards of the workplace.
“So, the school in maintaining a dress code is not saying that styles and fashion that exist within the broader society should not exist, but what the school is saying is that the standards that are necessary for the efficient and effective operation of the workplace, that culture starts in the school,” Mr. Holness said.
He also emphasised the need for self-discipline, while encouraging the boys to see themselves as leaders.
For his part, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said it is important for positive behaviours to be recognised within the school system.
“It is important to reinforce good and positive values. I believe that if we can create an education system that nurtures and produces these kind of quality students, disciplined and trained, then we are providing the kind of raw material for Jamaica’s growth and development,” Senator Reid said.
The Minister also commended the staff at the Bog Walk High School for implementing the programme.
“Congratulations to you youngsters for this recognition, and now you have a responsibility to be exemplars of excellence,” Mr. Reid said.
Meanwhile, Principal of Bog Walk High School, Patrick Phillips, said the initiative seeks to create a culture of excellence at the institution, especially among boys.
“We want to say to our boys – you are valuable, you can be positive and you can make something of yourselves,” he said.
CAPTION: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (front, centre); State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green (second left); Principal of Bog Walk High School, Patrick Phillips (third left); and Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (second right), with students and administrators of the Bog Walk High School, who are participants in the institution’s ‘Boys Big-Up Programme’, at Jamaica House on April 25.