Ensure Christian principles spread in schools, Reid urges
Educators and other individuals among the congre-gation at the Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Kingston Parish Church, were strongly urged by Education Minister Ruel Reid yesterday to ensure that Christian principles continue to spread throughout the island's educational institutions.
He was speaking at the Jamaica Teaching Council's special church service honouring teachers who have made significant contributions to the profession.
Twelve teachers from 12 high schools islandwide were awarded for their excellent contributions to the field of education.
"How can we take Christianity into the practice of teaching and learning in the classroom?" asked Reid. "In that way, we are shaping and moulding their character. People used to think that we were one of the best places on Earth, but now, we have descended to the lowest end, hanging on to one of the highest homicide rates in the world, yet we talk about we are a Christian country," he added.
Reid further tasked the educators to ensure that they properly play their roles as Christians by moving to eradicate abject poverty and improve access to education.
"We are the agents of transformation," he said. "That's part of the challenge we face as a Christian country, that we are only Christians on a Sunday and in church. As Christian educators, we have the greater responsibility to teach the marginal and the poor. And so yes, with the Government understanding the reality themselves, we want to make sure that there aren't any barriers in accessing education. Look at the reality: we still struggle with poverty because 20 per cent of all our people are said to be in abject poverty, and 50 per cent of all our children in our schools are on the PATH programme," the minister added.