Integrity clubs come September - Focus on corruption, attitudes and values
Educational clubs aimed at changing the youth perspective on attitudes, values and corruption are to be initiated in secondary institutions come September, as a result of a synergy between the National Integrity Action (NIA) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI).
The move to implement 'Integrity Clubs' in schools islandwide, comes against the background of the findings of a recent survey conducted by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) which saw politicians being ranked by 1,262 youngsters aged 10-19 years, as having the lowest integrity among a group of professionals.
"That perception can change once we're consistent in our interventions with them (youth) and also by de-stigmatising the word politicians or politics so youths understand that it is something good and they should participate in the governance of the country and through doing this, they themselves will have an impact in going forward positively," Jamie-Ann Chevannes, youth outreach officer for NIA told The Gleaner.
"We want to ingrain in them positive values and attitudes that are now being derailed," added Chevannes.
"The high amount of fights that are happening in schools, we're trying to curb that sort of behaviour and encourage them to develop their schools and communities."
Floyd Green, state minister in the education ministry, echoed similar sentiments at recent Gleaner Editors' Forum, stating: "We have done a number of campaigns in schools, but what we've found is that once they go back into the communities, a lot of the good work that was done in school, is erased. So, we're now looking at how we can reach into the communities and the homes to ensure that we start instilling those values and positive attitudes from the very earliest time."
An official booklet outlining the frequency of meetings and activities to best convey the intended messages is already in place as result of the pilot phase being ran at St George's College, St Hugh's High and Holy Trinity High a few years back.
Schools will express their interest to the ministry after which a teacher or nominee of the institution, who is appointed to oversee the club, will be trained by the NIA in tandem with the ministry.
The modules to be covered by students are:
Understanding integrity and corruption
- The self and integrity
- The country and integrity
- The world and integrity
- I can make a difference; accountability, courage and advocacy.