The transition from primary to secondary school sometimes proves very difficult for children. In some cases, if they do not have a sound grounding, they are easily influenced by destructive characters.
To combat the challenges which these students face in the transition, The National Task Force on Crime Prevention and Magistrate Barbara Cook-Alleyne have started a programme, In Winner’s Circle: Making The Right Choice! to sensitise them to these challenges and ways to counter them.
This year’s programme will target all primary schools in the Christ Church and St. Philip.
Speaking at the commencement of the workshops being held at the Christ Church Parish Church Centre in Church Hill, this morning Senior Superintendent in the Royal Barbados Police Force, Eucklyn Thompson, informed the students that the decisions they make today could impact significantly on the future.
It is important, he added, that they see themselves as the future leaders in society.
“Poor choices result in bad judgements; bad judgements result in bad habits; bad habits result in wasted opportunities; wasted opportunities result in lives that settle for mediocrity and things that give no lasting happiness,” he advised.
“It is important that time and time again we are seeing youngsters with great potential yield to negative influences, thus veering off the path on which success is guaranteed.
“Everything about that decision you are going to make … tells you, you will end up on the wrong side of the road, yet you allow persons of less skills training and understanding to influence you … until you no longer have visionary goals or objectives.
He added: “Furthermore, you become attracted to the ‘fast lane’ which has a production line of lawlessness, violence, quick money and ultimately, a life of crime or one which inhibits your potential to make good use of your God-given talents and abilities.
“Later, someone may come close and whisper in your ears, ‘Remember when you were doing so well at school and everything pointed towards a successful career and life? What has gone wrong?’ The answer, ‘You simply made bad choices’.”
Crime statistic for the period 2008 to 2012 revealed there were 453 reported cases of crime involving juveniles, and the senior superintendent encouraged the youngsters, who were from the Milton Lynch and St. Lawrence Primary schools, to keep away from being a part of these statistics.
To achieve this, he advised, they should practice love, helpfulness, obedience to parents and teachers, honesty, forgiveness, sharing, caring, forming wholesome friendship, working in teams and other traits which would support a positive way of living.
He also warned them to avoid coveting property belonging to others, gossiping, disobeying instructions at home and at schools, bullying, tardiness, cheating, stealing, hatred, malice, violence and using abusive language. At today’s workshops the children discussed Bullying/Conflict Resolution, Wandering, Your Body and You, Substance Abuse and Self Esteem.(KC)††