Jasford Gabriel - JTA President-2020-2021

JTA To Restore Positive Values And Attitudes

Publication Date: 
Monday, September 28, 2020

Jasford Gabriel, the new president of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), has said that the 25,000 members of the association will be seeking to promote positive values and attitudes in the school environment as part of the drive to restore virtue in the society. “Our education system colleagues must lead the way as far as restoring virtues such as integrity, honesty, accountability, and respect for self and each other,” said Gabriel while speaking at his investiture as the 56th president of the JTA at the association’s recent annual conference in Montego Bay.

According to Gabriel, the positive values and attitudes of truth, commitment, loyalty, courage, empathy, peace, persistence, tolerance, love, and trust that are required to provide opportunities for citizens to understand the need to show respect for self and for others have disappeared from the society.

“Unfortunately, these have become almost forgotten virtues. The moral fibre in our society is tearing with an agonising sound which can be heard throughout the land,” said Gabriel. Citing the writings of Sathya Sai Baba, an Indian guru and philanthropist, Gabriel said that politics without principles, education without character, science without humanity, and knowledge without morality are not only useless but also dangerous.

“As such, we, in the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, are committed to leading the way in restoring positive values and attitudes,” said the educator, who is also the principal of Manchester High School, in rejecting the notion that the association had also fallen prey to the decline in values.

In 1994, former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson launched the National Values and Attitudes Programme, which was aimed at addressing the high levels of indiscipline, impoliteness, and violence in the country. However, that effort failed to get the desired traction from the wider society. In 2003, an attempt was made to resuscitate it under the theme ‘For a Better You, For a Better Me, For a Better Jamaica’, but that, too, failed to achieve the desired results.

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