BUFF BAY, Portland:MICHAEL AIKEN, principal of Gideon Education Centre (GEC) in Buff Bay, Portland, is convinced that students and teachers at that learning institution are well on their way to embracing Vision 2030, a national development plan.
The disclosure comes against the recent background of the launch of a series of programmes at the school aimed at improving and grooming students to develop leadership and social skills, values and attitudes, as well as to create and reinforce a clean, healthy environment.
"Vision 2030 is an intra-curricular club. We partner with parents, community members and organisations in providing the best possible learning experience for our precious children," explained Aiken.
"No child is exempt because of ethnicity, religious heritage, spiritual orientation, gender or physical challenge. We are an inclusive learning community that nurtures our children, espouses excellence, utilises available technology, recognises and facilitates the professional development of our teachers," he added.
The launch of the special programme took place at the school on October 12, and was witnessed and embraced by representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Planning Institute of Jamaica, parents, community residents and other stakeholders.
During the event, students performed drama pieces, songs, dances and offered greeting to the varied partners. One of the highlights of the launch was a special dramatisation done by teachers depicting the many instances of child abuse now plaguing the Jamaican society.
According to the principal, the Gideon Education Centre offers courses in leadership and social skills, writing and reading, mathematic, technology and environmental awareness. He noted that it is expected of all students to participate and excel in extra-curricular activities such as speech and drama, Spelling Bee, sports, and groups such as Vision 2030 Club, CLASS, 4-H, and Builders clubs.
Explained Aiken: "CARE is an extra-curricular club that provides an esteem-building environment for students who show signs of physical, verbal, sexual and emotional abuse. It is our way to ensure that even when family fails, school does not."