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Honour Shineka with excellence, Reid tells Green Pond High

Published:Thursday | February 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke

Western Bureau:

Senator Ruel Reid, the minister of education, youth and information, says that the students at Green Pond High School in St James should seek to honour the memory of their slain schoolmate, Shineka Gray, by continuing the school's drive towards excellence.

Gray's partially decomposed body was found in bushes in the Meadows of Irwin community last Tuesday with multiple stab wounds.

In encouraging Gray's schoolmates to strive to become the best students they can be, the education minister said that some of the opportunities now available to them didn't exist in former times.

"A couple years ago, many students like you would not have got an opportunity beyond grade nine. The majority of Jamaican children did not have a space in high school up to grade 11," Reid said. "We are now in a totally different world. We are now in what is called the post-Industrial Revolution, where you have to have a high level of education and skill with certification if you are to transition properly into the world of work."


Vision to achieve


In a touching 12-minute address to teachers and students at the Cornwall Courts-based school, Reid hailed the leadership at the school and urged them to honour Gray's memory with hard work and with a vision to achieve at the highest level.

"Good-paying jobs are now being mechanised, making it increasingly difficult for students to simply leave school and find work. That was in the past," noted Reid. "But while there are some high-paying jobs still available, what you find with these high-paying jobs is that the worker has to be highly trained, skilled, and certified.

"The Government is working to provide opportunities that all students should take up as you pursue education," added Reid.

Don't be reckless with your safety, students warned

Assistant Superintendent of Police Coleridge Minto, the Education Ministry's director of security and safety in schools, who accompanied education minister Ruel Reid on the tour, encouraged the student not to be reckless with their safety.

"The minister and I are concerned that children are leaving themselves open to dangers by posting personal information, private videos and their mood status on social media for the world to see," said ASP Minto. "This is a very dangerous practise and I wish all to desist immediately. There are cruel and evil people out there who are waiting to take advantage of our children and us as adults, and the children themselves have a big role to play in personal safety."

The minister, who was on a four-school tour of Montego Bay, also toured Cornwall College and Mt Alvernia High, and participated in a ceremony at Herbert Morrison Technical High School to honour the school's principal, Paul Adams.