By anguillian September 5, 2014 09:16



DSC_6071 DSC_6070Two hundred and twenty-two new students, enrolled in Campus B at the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School, turned up in their new classrooms on Monday, September 1, fresh from what may have been a gruelling induction session a few days earlier.

The event, on Friday, August 29, was the Youth Development Programme 2014, an initiative which involved the Ministry and Department of Education, teachers, the Royal (Anguilla Police Force, through its Community Relations Department), health personnel and others. The annual programme, initiated by the police, had as its Biblical theme: “Point your children in the right direction and when they’re old they won’t be lost”.

Mrs Melsadis Fleming, Deputy Principal, set out a number of Campus B rules for the students admitted from the six primary schools. “We wish you all the very best and we have some expectations of you,” she told them. “We are hoping that you came here with a very positive attitude and, as a result, you will gain something that will help you in life. While at Campus B, you are going to have some decisions to make that will determine, to a large extent, the course of your future…You will have to determine whether you study or waste time and that, too, will determine the extent that you will reach academically. You will have to decide whether or not you will do your homework; respect our institution and your teachers, yourself and fellow students.”

Mrs Fleming said the school’s regulations included the following: students should appear smartly dressed in their uniforms; have a good breakfast at home; refrain from taking to school “busta” soda drinks, from home or vendors, in order to prevent health issues later on; and no cellular phones are permitted in school. In cases where students may need to contact their parents they will be allowed to use the telephone at the campus office; and students are required to eat their lunch within the school’s compound.

Earlier, Mr Jerome Roberts, Minister of Education, advised the students that the choices and decisions they make could determine the kind of lives they would live. “I urge you to listen to the techniques and coping mechanisms that will be imparted to you in the presentations by a number of persons,” he told them. “These presentations can go a long way in your personal development and that of Anguilla as a whole. Try to equip yourselves with the necessary skills and tools to excel in life.”

Mr Roberts commended the organisers of the programme and all the various presenters for a job well done.

Commissioner of Police, Mr Rudolph Proctor, said the programme was designed to make students aware of a number of areas which could provide some challenges to them. He outlined those areas as drug use and abuse; sexual activities; personal hygiene, improper dress codes and anti-social behaviour.

“The aim of the annual programme is to equip you with information that can assist and prepare you as you enter this new phase of your life in a learning environment with respect and dignity. The resource persons for this programme are experienced and skilled professionals who have worked in many areas of our community, and have seen at first hand the results of violence, drugs and anti-social behaviour … on our young people in the communities and school systems. They are therefore equipped and qualified to share with you the pertinent information in making the right choices.”

Mr Proctor stressed that too many young people in Anguilla were turning to violence and crime, to settle differences, which were having a negative impact on the island. He went on: “It has always been the intention of the Royal Anguilla Police Force to work with individuals, organisations and institutions to implement programmes and activities that give our youth a chance to make the right choices in life, and to provide them with skills to deal with conflicts in school settings, at home and the community.”
“There is no doubt in mind about the benefits of his Youth Development Programme and the impact it will have on you as you enter secondary education. My dear young people, crime, violence and disrespect for each other, and anti-social behaviour among our island’s youth, continue to take away from your opportunities in education and from your communities. I therefore urge you to focus on your education, be kind and respectful to your classmates, teachers and all other persons you may come into contact with during this educational journey. It is important that you protect your future by focusing on the things that can direct you to a bright and prosperous future – one free of drugs, violence and any form of anti-social behaviour.”

The Youth Development Programme was an all-day event for the new entrants into Campus B.

By anguillian September 5, 2014 09:16


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