Tue | Feb 25, 2020

Gordon Harrison voices support for JCCF

Published:Wednesday | November 13, 2019 | 12:13 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison.
Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison.

WESTERN BUREAU:

The Office of the Children’s Advocate is supportive of a recent call by Professor Errol Morrison, the newly appointed Cadet Lieutenant Colonel for the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF), to be considered a major part of the country’s crime plan.

According to Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison, while, in principle, her office is in support of having adolescent boys enrolled in the Cadet Force and other uniform groups as part of a wider plan to rescue them from a life of crime, she thinks consideration must be given to their needs and aptitudes.

“Yes. I would say it’s a good thing. I don’t know, however, if I would go as far as Professor Morrison has gone to say that if everybody is in a Cadet Corps, then it means that we would have solved the crime problem,” Gordon Harrison said, when asked to respond to what Morrison said last week when he declared that the Jamaica Cadet Force is key to solving the country’s crime problems.

“As we think of our youths, the 13 to 18 age group, mainly in schools, this Jamaica Combined Cadet Force is key, especially with what is now happening in our country, where we want to have our young people with a sense of leadership, a sense of discipline, a sense of teamwork, and a sense of where we are going as a country and as a people,” Morrison said while addressing the closing ceremony of the 75th anniversary of the JCCF in Montego Bay.

Despite the reservations she outlined, Gordon Harrison thinks that seeking to have boys engaged in constructive projects to put them on a positive path is a worthwhile venture to pursue.

RECOGNISING DIFFERENCES

“I think it has an important part to play and we need to look at the suggestion and also recognise, however, that even though we want to push boys, particularly in a certain direction, different boys come to the table with different needs, different interests, and different aptitudes,” said Gordon Harrison.

“I don’t know if I would say that every single boy who is an adolescent should go this course, but it is one of the ways that can be considered as a part of the panacea of the solutions,” the children advocate noted.

Gordon Harrison said that she believes that any uniform group which is operating at a standard that can impact teenage boys in a positive way has the potential to be a sound tool in their development.

“I certainly think that all uniform groups, especially if they have certain standards, tend to have that kind of mindset whereby it exposes the young people who they are interacting with to rules, the understanding of working together for a common purpose, building values and talking about things that are long-standing in their tradition that really engender a sense of self-respect,” said Gordon Harrison said.