25 August 2019 | Plans announced recently to allow for the opening of Adventist Pathfinder clubs in Jamaican schools have hit a roadblock. According to The Gleaner, the Jamaican government has received pushback from entities that feel the presence of the clubs would lead to indoctrination of students.
The prospect of introducing Pathfinder clubs into Jamaican primary and secondary schools was first announced late last year, and the idea then was that the clubs would support the government’s Safe Schools program which tackles antisocial behavior.
Last Wednesday, Jamaica’s permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education (MOE), Grace McLean, promised that the ministry would consider the allegations that the presence of Pathfinder clubs could lead to indoctrination. She made the comment while speaking at a question-and-answer session at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s (JTA) 55th annual conference in Montego Bay.
“We discussed the matter with the JTA executives, as well as with the other interest groups that have expressed concerns, and we are in the process now of discussing further with the particular group to determine how we go forward. We will provide further updates as we seek to ensure that this matter is amicably resolved,” said McLean.
She said the introduction of Pathfinder clubs into schools had not yet been approved.
“In order for this (partnership) to be established, we have to do all our due diligence. We have to have our minister sign off on it, and we have to have the documentation submitted to Cabinet for approval,” McLean said. “We have not yet fully established the partnership, and based on the concerns that have been raised, there will be further discussion before we decide to move forward.”