A good part­ner­ship

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION&COMMENTARY -

LAST WEEK, the Par­ent-Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­maica Col­lege staged a fundrais­ing event head­lined by the recog­ni­tion of three main play­ers in the school’s con­tin­u­ing ef­forts at im­prove­ment: Danny Wil­liams, Ruel Reid and Ian Forbes.

Over the last 10 years, largely through the in­spi­ra­tional lead­er­ship of Danny Wil­liams, there has been con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment in the phys­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties and ed­u­ca­tional cli­mate at Ja­maica Col­lege.

Danny’s prin­ci­ple of in­clu­sion and calm but res­o­lute in­sis­tence on ac­count­abil­ity have been the foun­da­tion el­e­ments of a sturdy part­ner­ship draw­ing to­gether alumni, par­ents, staff and friends of the col­lege.

Of course, it has helped that, un­like many other schools, sev­eral of JC’s old boys from the glory days of Hugo Cham­bers are now the wealthy busi­ness lead­ers who could af­ford to give back to their school as the Hen­drick­sons, Gores and Mat­alons have done.

But the im­por­tance of the part­ner­ship goes deeper than the money con­tri­bu­tions. It lies in the spirit of shared re­spon­si­bil­ity and the sat­is­fac­tion of be­ing part of a no­ble en­deav­our. That was the vibe which was ev­i­dent and shared at last week’s func­tion.

And this is the ethos which, be­ing du­pli­ca­ble, could has­ten the trans­for­ma­tion of our schools and, by ex­ten­sion, ought to be the model for Ja­maica’s po­lit­i­cal econ­omy.

The el­e­ments are as sim­ple as they are rare. A strong leader, whether chair­man or prin­ci­pal and prefer­ably both – who sets an ap­pro­pri­ate tone for a school, or by ex­ten­sion, min­istry or agency, and en­cour­ages, en­joins and mea­sures per­for­mance tar­gets.

What a con­trast to the crab­bit, ego­tis­ti­cal, tribal ap­proach to man­age­ment and gov­er­nance ev­i­dent even in the run-up to to­day’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

SIN­CERE PART­NER­SHIPS

It is only through sin­cere, not self-in­ter­ested or ‘mouth-wa­ter,’ part­ner­ships that sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and whole­some so­cial re­la­tions can be forged in Ja­maica.

Ja­maica Col­lege’s progress has a deeper sig­nif­i­cance: that of now of­fer­ing the range and qual­ity of high-school ed­u­ca­tion pre­vi­ously re­served for the elite of colour and class, to more

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