Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding spoke at the opening of a two-day conference on young people at risk in the Caribbean.
7 May 2009
Caribbean conference addresses youth at risk
Creating jobs and developing incentives to keep young people in education are critical for reducing crime and violence among youth in the Caribbean, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding said 6 May 2009.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the opening of a two-day conference on young people at risk in the region. “We have been talking about the need for positive male role models and thinking that predominant presence of women teachers in schools has negative influence on boys’ performance. But the Commonwealth study showed that it is a myth - female teachers do not necessarily act as negative role models,” Mr Golding said quoting the Commonwealth Secretariat's publication 'Boys’ Underachievement in Education: An Exploration in Selected Commonwealth Countries', published in 2006.
The Caribbean Conference on Keeping Boys Out of Risk is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the World Bank and will focus on underachievement in education, the need for the development of skills and responses to labour market challenges.
Bruce Golding was sworn in as the eighth Prime Minister of Jamaica on 11 September 2007 after leading the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to victory in the 3 September general election.
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Ransford Smith and World Bank Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean Pamela Cox were also present on the occasion. Andrew Holness, Jamaican Education Minister, who was present for the Welcoming Dinner on 5 May and introduced the conference, said: “We are really happy that the World Bank and Commonwealth Secretariat have come together to discuss this very important issue for the region.”
The conference will also provide the opportunity to recognise award winning best practice programmes identified through the regional Caribbean Contest: Keeping Boys Out of Risk, launched in December 2008. The competition was established to identify and promote successful projects working with youth-at-risk in the Caribbean.
Mr Smith said: “The compilation of selected best practices will be a good inventory from which governments and organisations can take concrete programmes to replicate and implement. We hope that this useful guide will contribute to addressing the issue of boys’ underachievement and also prevent crime and violence in the Caribbean.”