A multi-Ministry approach will be used to strengthen the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF) programme in schools.
Newly appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, told JIS News that she has been in dialogue with the Ministry of Education and Youth to determine how best they can leverage their partnership.
“We have to do that, though, where we are starting with the cadets in schools to really strengthen that programme. I’ve already spoken to Honourable [Education] Minister Fayval Williams about strengthening the cadet programmes in our schools. There needs to be more of that,” Mrs. Cuthbert-Flynn said.
The State Minister, who will have responsibility for the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and JCCF, said she benefited from the Cadet programmes when she was in high school.
“I was a part of [the] Brownies and Girl Guides, and I think those service groups really will help our children with discipline [and] with life skills,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Cuthbert-Flynn, said she will continue the work of ensuring young persons are fully rehabilitated when they leave correctional system, through skills training and other transformative interventions.
She cited among these the ‘We Transform’ programme, “where it is about building skills… because I recognise that there’s a large number of unskilled persons entering our prisons… somewhere between 48 and 50 per cent”.
The State Minister credits programmes being facilitated through the Government to ensure that persons learn a skill, which are intended to serve as deterrents to engaging in crime.
She further underscored the need for young persons to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.
“The fact [is] that the Government has started with the HEART/NSTA Trust programme to say there is no fee to actually get a skill. So, what we must do now is to have the kind of joined-up Government… so we have the Ministry of Education on board, so we can focus on the youth,” the State Minister said.
“We must focus on the youth. We can’t start when they’re older at 15. We have to start from a younger age. So, with the Cadet programme coupled with the HEART programme, where persons can learn a skill, I think we should make use of that,” Mrs. Cuthbert-Flynn added.