PM urges pupils to help make 2024 most peaceful year in Ja’s history Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is urging students to play their parts in making 2024 the most peaceful year in Jamaica’s history.

Holness, who has long indicated that his Government will be focusing more significantly on combating violence this year, said peace must start in the nation’s schools.

He made the appeal while addressing students at Guy’s Hill High School in St Catherine on Thursday afternoon.

In making his case for students to embark on a posture of peace, Holness said young people today are being bombarded with negative images and messages on social media.

While acknowledging that nothing was fundamentally wrong with persons taking on roles as “citizen journalists”, he suggested that the unfiltered information on social media is having a negative impact on the behaviour of young people especially.

“It is the case that the information that we are being fed is making us more susceptible and permissive to violence, and we have seen last year several unfortunate incidents of our young people being either perpetrators or victims of violent acts,” said Holness.

At Guy’s Hill High School in rural St Catherine, he said he has not heard of such violent incidents making national news headlines, and urged the students to continue on that trajectory.

At the same time, the prime minister appealed to students to make an even greater commitment.

“As students, I want you to make a commitment to peace – that if you find yourself in any form of conflict, if someone does you wrong, if you feel you have been unfairly treated, if you feel you have been violated or dissed in any way, that your first response is not going to be a violent, aggressive or physical response,” he appealed to the students.

“… Your first response is going to be, ‘Let us try to reason it out, let us try to talk about it’, because in 2024, we’re going to make this the most peaceful year that Jamaica has experienced, and that peace must start in our schools,” Holness asserted.

The prime minister also encouraged the students to commit to being more focused on their education, and to participating more in their school activities this year.

“I want you to commit – the entire school population of Guy’s Hill High – to do more in 2024,” said Holness.