November 19, 2018 | St. Catherine, Jamaica | Damian Chambers/JAMU/IAD News Staff
The Ministry of Education in Jamaica is taking steps to allow the Seventh-day Adventist uniform group—the Pathfinders—to setup clubs in primary and high schools across the nation.
This announcement was made by Assistant Superintendent of Police Coleridge Minto with responsibility for safety in schools, who was representing the Education Minister, The Hon. Ruel Reid, during a service of installation for nearly 1,000 young people into the various uniform groups of the church.
“Once the protocols are ironed out during a meeting with the Adventist youth leaders and the Ministry of Education in the coming week, we expect that at least 5-10 pathfinder clubs will be established in various schools across the island by the end of this year 2018,” said Minto.
Since 2004, the Ministry of Education has started the safe school program to assist schools with behavioral and anti-social issues among the youth.
“The success that we have had so far with this program can be attributed to partnerships with agencies such as the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Therefore, the ministry is extending an invitation to the Adventist Church to establish pathfinder clubs in the national school programs through primary and high schools,” Minto added.
The service was held at Camp Verley, Spring Gardens, St. Catherine on Saturday, November 17, 2018, and was hosted by the church’s central region Jamaica headquarters.
The Adventist Church in Jamaica and across the world, through its uniform groups, have been very successful in helping thousands of young people to develop the life skills and discipline necessary to take up church and community leadership positions, church leaders said.
“We are excited to partner with the ministry in sharing life changing principles and discipline behavior with the youth of our country,” said Pastor Dane Fletcher, youth and chaplaincy ministries director for the church in Jamaica. “According to police statistics, most of the crime that has plagued the society, especially in recent times, are perpetrated by young people and we stand ready to support any cause that will have our young people focus their attention in more meaningful and productive ventures at the school level character formation takes place.”
According to Minto, the Adventist uniformed club was selected because the Ministry of Education is very pleased with the Adventist Church’s decades of service to nation building, particularly in the area of youth development.
The Adventist Church in Jamaica has more than 10,000 active uniformed members in four clubs: the Adventurers, Pathfinders, Master Guides and Senior Youths, in approximately 500 of its 740 congregations island-wide. The groups are for all ages, starting with the Adventurers (ages 6-9), Pathfinders (10-15), Master Guides (16 and above) and Senior Youths (16 and above).