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Starting again and the Motivation factor in Youth and Adults in Jamaica


When we started our CXC Maths and English Programme last month, we were excited that so many young people wanted to seek opportunities to get the qualification and education they needed.

The enthusiasm from our first group meeting has not translated into attendance to class on the days agreed.

When we discussed this problem as administers of the programme it was with some frustration. We realised that there was a problem of motivation. The youth seemed not to be able to put any effort into ensuring they were at class and doing work. It seemed they were not at the stage to prioritize their own education. Our expectations were that they would seek all the support they could get to show up to classes.

  1. Have we named the lack of effort on their part as lack of motivation correctly?
  2. Should we be focusing on self-development/personal motivation and setting and achieving goals as opposed to preparation for CXC Maths and English?
  3. What affects the motivation of youths between the ages 16-19?
  4. How can understanding this be integrated into a programme?
  5. Can we create a programme for youths from low-income communities without also providing for transportation cost and lunch and possibly a stipend?



About afifa

Dj Afifa is a selecta from Jamaica. She works on sound projects and makes spaces inspired by music. She has been working on sound art since 2009. She has co founded two spaces; the SO((U))L HQ and Di Institute for Social Leadership in Jamaica. She currently works in between both of these spaces. She has a two weekly programmes on ZanJ Radio. The Electromagneticradiation and Crocus Bag a tings.


2 thoughts on “Starting again and the Motivation factor in Youth and Adults in Jamaica

  1. Goodness. This is a tough one. Have you spoken to any of your prospective students individually? What reasons do they give for their absence, if it is possible to determine? I am wondering if question #2 is something you should seriously consider, and then later introduce the Maths and English…

    Posted by petchary | October 15, 2014, 7:04 pm
  2. I believe question #2 is your route in. My experience has been that engaging with young people where they already are is important. Finding out what they are really interested in and using that to pull them in. I think this was part of the success of the youth project I’ve worked on here in the UK. We used fashion to build self confidence, communication skills, goal setting and financial management, to name a few. That’s where their interests lay so they came for the fashion bit but we were able to inject the elements we know they needed into it. I guess that might help a bit of question #4.
    But I think the #1 thing to do is to talk to them more without clear plans in place, just to understand them. Then create a programme around that. (Wish I was in JA, I’d love to help you)

    Posted by Nicola D | October 16, 2014, 9:09 am

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