School #13 — Manchester High School
All-Island Tour Powered by Emprezz, UNICEF, National Baking Company, Purewater & Island Grill
Manchester High School in Mandeville had the lucky distinction of being the 13th stop on the Talk Up Yout School Tour which is sponsored by Emprezz Golding, UNICEF, National Baking Company, Purewater and Island Grill. With a motto like “Sic Luceat Lux” which roughly translates to “So Shines the Light” the enlightened students shed light on many of the issues being faced by youths in Manchester and Jamaica at large.
Emprezz led the panel which consisted of students from grades 7 to 13 Alex Blackwood, Michale Simpson, Davaughn McAnuff, Alyssa Boothe, Steven-Paul McLean and Kerice Coke the Head Girl. Also on the panel was their Guidance Counsellor Ms Althea Brown. Representatives from the NCYD — Keitho Nembhard and OCR — Paulette Laing were also present to give advice about their particular organizations to the students.
Emprezz opened the discussion by asking the students to speak about their individual observations as it regards issues in their school, parish and country, then she asked students in the audience to volunteer to answer the same question. This yielded issues such as Lack of Role Models, Loss of Values and Morals, Unnecessary and Impractical Subjects, Small Classrooms, Substance Abuse — especially Cannabis Sativa (ganja or marijuana), Crime and Violence, Peer Pressure, Lack of Practical Education for example: Entrepreneurship Classes, Ineffective Governance of the Country, Physical and Mental Abuse, Materialism, Mental Slavery and Lack of Access to Tertiary Education.
Students expressed powerful and sometimes controversial opinions on the issues such as the Role of the Church in Education, Mental Slavery and the Role of the Government. One student was of the opinion that Europe and American did not “underdevelop” Africa, rather that Africans sold their brothers into slavery for selfish reasons. This idea was challenged both by the students around him and by Emprezz who reminded him that things are never as simple as that. She expanded the thought by pointing to the fact that many of these “Selfish Africans” were themselves captured and threatened with violence to capture their fellow Africans.
One student openly voiced her opinion that there are no role models in this country. Others bashed churches for secularizing and becoming profit-driven multi-billion dollar industries. Another spoke about his experience with a particular church whose pastor refuses to continue with him sermon unless there is more than $30,000 in the Collection plate.
However in the spirit of uplifting and empowering youths, Emprezz challenged the students to research the avenues for success. If you want to be a pilot, google successful pilots and read their stories, find out how they got there and use their lives as your map to success. The Representative from the NCYD Keitho Nembhard also encouraged the students to actively protest against the lack of accessible educational opportunities in Jamaica. He urged them to be the change they want to see, and in the spirit of Youth Month to “Reset di Ting.”
After the students were given words of encouragement from the Talk Up Yout Economic Advisors Sherry Perrier and Aaron Ramsey, as well baskets from National Baking Company and Help Stickers, Manchester High School’s Theatre Group entertained everyone present with a Drama Piece and Dub Poem, bringing another successful day to a close.
Quote of the Day: “A people without industry and commerce will perish.” Marcus Garvey
WHO CAN GUESS THE PARISH OF THE FINAL STOP OF THE TALK UP YOUT SCHOOL TOUR???
Written by Kristeena Monteith