THE Ministry of Education is taking steps to allow the Seventh-day Adventist uniformed group — the Pathfinders— to set up clubs in primary and high schools across Jamaica.
This announcement was made by Assistant Superintendent of Police Coleridge Minto, who has responsibility for safety in schools. He was representing Education Minister Ruel Reid at a service of installation for almost 1,000 young people into the various uniformed groups of the church.
“Once the protocols are ironed out during a meeting with the Adventist youth leaders and the Ministry of Education in the coming week, we expect that at least five to ten pathfinder clubs will be established in various schools across the island by the end of this year 2018,” said ASP Minto.
The Ministry of Education started the safe school programme in 2004 to assist schools with behavioral and antisocial issues among the youth.
“The success that we have had so far with this programme can be attributed to partnerships with agencies such as the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Therefore, the ministry is extending an invitation to the Adventist church to establish Pathfinder clubs in the national school programmes through primary and high schools,” Minto added.
The service was held at Camp Verley, Spring Gardens, St Catherine, on Saturday and was hosted by the church's Central Region Jamaica headquarters.
The Adventist Church in Jamaica and across the world, through its uniformed groups, have been very successful in helping thousands of young people develop the life skills and discipline necessary to take up church and community leadership positions, a church release said.
“We are excited to partner with the ministry in sharing life-changing principles and disciplined behavior with the youth of our country, “said Pastor Dane Fletcher, youth and chaplaincy ministries director of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
“According to police statistics, most of the crime that has plagued the society, especially in recent times, are perpetrated by young people and we stand ready to support any cause that will have our young people focus their attention in more meaningful and productive ventures at the school level character formation takes place,” said Pastor Fletcher.
According to ASP Minto, the Adventist uniformed club was selected because the Ministry of Education is very pleased with the Adventist Church's decades of service to nation building, particularly in the area of youth development.
The Adventist Church in Jamaica has more than 10,000 active uniformed members in four clubs; the Adventurer, Pathfinders, Master Guide and Senior Youths, in approximately 500 of its 740 congregations island wide. The groups are for all ages, starting with the Adventurers (ages 6-9), Pathfinders (10-15), Master Guides (16 and above) and Senior Youths (16 and above).