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Thwaites wants more church influence in schools

Published:Thursday | January 28, 2016 | 1:00 AMChristopher Serju
Ronald Thwaites

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites has challenged churches to bring more of Christian principles to bear on teachings in schools, given that some 50 per cent of schools in Jamaica are either owned or sponsored by Christian churches.

"We need more church influence in the schools, not less. And we are not asking you to push your own denomination line; we are asking you to lift up the presence of God in all of our children," Thwaites said during last Friday's official opening of the Barbara E. Lee Hing Banana Ground Basic School in Manchester.

"There are about 2,600 early-childhood institutions in Jamaica and most of them are supported by the Christian churches. Thank God for them, and we hope that they will continue to let down their buckets in the traditional wells of inspiration and take care of the little children."

Thwaites noted that the school was now the primary agent of socialisation for children, hence his appeal.

"It used to be the family and the school and Church, now it is largely the school because fortunately, everybody goes to school in this country. I am pleading with people who are church members to bring holiness from the sanctuary and reinvest it in the temples of the holy spirit of the little children and the older children in the schools," he charged. "You don't need any invitation (and), nobody is going to turn you back."