Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
Several senior girls at the Muschett High School in Wakefield, Trelawny, were the recipients of lessons on character refinement last week Friday during a seminar with members of the Northern Caribbean University's United Student Movement (NCUUSM).
During the seminar, the Muschett students took part in a number of activities aimed at gearing them towards becoming productive members of the society.
The activities took the form of drama pieces, poems, and songs, and included lessons on deportment, character, reputation, conduct, attitudes in the world of work, dignified behaviour, and what good men seek in young ladies.
Mario Williams, the NCUUSM president, said that the forum and other similar projects could empower young people to be more productive in the Jamaican society.
"I think it's a fantastic initiative, one that can empower the young people to be better citizens," said Williams. "I believe that this and other initiatives can help to propel the environment, the economy, and all of us out of the slump we are now in."
He added: "Most of our young people are disinterested in what is happening around us; it's as if they have a lackadaisical attitude. An initiative like this will get them interested and will enable growth."
Ava-Gay Blair, projects public relations officer for the NCUUSM, said that the seminar formed part of the group's volunteer work for various schools.
"We have been going out to different schools and the community to do volunteer services because volunteerism is and should be at the heart and soul of every human being," said Blair. "We came out today, allowing this to be part of our initiatives, just encouraging the student population - and the girls, in particular - on how to carry themselves, and stuff like that.
"Last year, we were here sometime in October and we did a school-impact programme," continued Blair. "This year, we got a call from the guidance counsellor to come in and just encourage the girls with this positive-impact seminar."
Muschett High School's guidance counsellor, Ivy Bulgin, told Western Focus that the seminar came at a time when morals were steadily declining.
"Over more than a decade, our morals have been eroding," said Bulgin. "I have been working in education for 34 years, and I think I am in the right place where I can see the gradual erosion. I am very concerned about it."