Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Honourable Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, has said that a concerted approach should be made to ensure that programmes are developed, which are geared towards instilling good values and attitudes in the future leaders of the society.
Addressing the official launch of the Flow-sponsored Rotary Leadership Initiative, under the theme ‘A Great Nation Needs Great Leader’, at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Thursday (October 2), the Governor-General said the launch comes at a critical point in time, where young individuals need inspiration to contribute productively to the society.
He pointed out that “as a country we are coming up short with regards to what we deliver to our young people.in our schools, no one can claim that despite the achievements of some of our students, the system has not delivered what we all expect. If we look at youth unemployment, it doesn’t take much for us to conclude. It would seem to me that we have not done enough to ensure that those we produce, even from a defective system, are not fully employed within our societies.”
“It is clear too from some of the evidence available that we have not performed well in our responsibilities as parents, inculcating values which can distinguish us as Jamaicans, that is, people with strong values with aspiration and so on. We have fallen short in some respects in that regard,” he continued.
The Governor-General, however, implored individuals within the society to create initiatives, which will foster growth and development among the youths within the country.
“We have an opportunity then at this critical point, to change the direction in which we are going, we could continue, on the one hand with the paradigm that we are now on, or we can take the other route and to draw inspiration from those who have done so well and to prepare the future generations as leaders as I think Rotary Club is doing in this regard,” he said.
With regards to the recent acts of violence which have been committed against children, Sir Kenneth Hall condemned the acts and implored everyone to instil good values in children.
His Excellency commended the club for the initiative, which has been created and encouraged others to do similar acts.
Coordinating Chairman of the National Leadership Initiative, Andre Hylton, in his remarks said that “our tendency is to focus on building more infrastructure, more hardware; but our real need now lies in the retooling of the nation’s software, our ethics and morals; our compassion and unity; our vision and goals.”
He added that the software will re-programme the way youths think and make them the outstanding leaders of tomorrow, adding that “our great nation needs great leaders and this begins with the training of youths.”
The initiative is intended to honour positive youth and develop them into the outstanding leaders of tomorrow through a variety of programmes.
As part of the initiative, each of the island’s 23 Rotary Clubs, will select a leader from its districts between the ages of 17 and 30 for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Five hundred young people including the awardees, will be invited to participate in a RYLA seminar during which successful professionals will teach them the importance of ethics, communication skills and community service.