School #12 – Westwood High School
All-Island Tour Powered by Emprezz, UNICEF, National Baking Company, Purewater & Island Grill
– In their navy blue uniforms, crisp white blouses and jippi-jappa hats, the young ladies of Westwood High School stand out. However, what really distinguishes them among their peers is their effortless intelligence, grace and poise.
The Talk Up Yout School Tour which is powered by Emprezz Golding, UNICEF, National Baking Company, Purewater and Island Grill journeyed to Stewart Town, Trelawny to talk up with the students of Westwood High School. They were accompanied by representatives of the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) Nicholas Mayne and Rhonda Walker-Walters and DJ Bambino.
The school hosts two types of students: Boarders and “Day-girls” who commute, however they both agree that Jamaican youths face many issues such as Abuse, Teenage Pregnancy, Loss of Values and Morals, Crime and Violence, Juvenile Delinquency, Homosexuality, Shadeism and other Racial Issues, Premature Sexual Activity, Poor Governance, Bleaching, The Influence of the Media, The Debt Crisis and Low Self-Esteem.
One of the issues which the girls were most excited to talk about was predictably their interaction with boys. According to them, girls sometimes get themselves into potentially harmful situations out of the fear of rejecting a “cute” boy; an issue which they believe is rooted in the problem of low self-esteem.
A student also voiced her opinion on the state of the education system and described it as “woefully lacking.” In her opinion, students are not being prepared for life outside of high school, because they are not being taught “Civics” and “Logics”. She believes high school students are expected to suddenly grow up and understand everything once they graduate, but they are not actually taught many of the necessary survival skills.
That sentiment is a common one as students at all of the other schools previously visited on the Talk Up Yout School Tour have expressed some sort of fear of the future as it regards how they will survive after high school. The ladies of Westwood High School were also concerned about the state of the country: the behemoth debt crisis, the import to export ratio and the role of politicians in fixing these problems.
They also had much to say on the issue of entertainers leading young children astray with their lyrics which prompted DJ Bambino to ask, “What school is Vybz Kartel the principal of?” He encouraged the girls to think for themselves and recognize the fact that the entertainment industry is primarily aimed at entertaining not educating. Emprezz also reminded them that they need to have strength of character; they should know what they stand for and learn to uphold their morals.
At the end of the day’s discussion the representatives of the NCYD spoke to the young ladies about the purpose of their organization and how they help students in the parish of Trelawny. The students were given help stickers courtesy of UNICEF and the panellists were given baskets from National Bakery, after which DJ Bambino entertained everyone present with his skills on the turntables.
Quote of the Day: “Jamaicans love foreign things. Perhaps we should manufacture goods, send them to America and let them write “Made in America” on them then send them back. Everyone would buy them.”
Next Stop: Manchester High School, Manchester
Written by: Kristeena Monteith
Talk Up Yout
The television show's Season 6 is will be on Television Jamaica in is currently brought to you by National Baking Company.