Topic Summary: Students in under-resourced communities frequently experience economic exclusion, in part because of the inadequacies of the schools attended within their communities. These schools lack basic resources, possess oversubscribed classrooms, are unable to meet the students’ trauma-related needs and are threatened with an upsurge of violence in the community. This environment propels the sense of indiscipline, hopelessness and apathy observed. In Jamaica, the Church has been instrumental in starting many schools considered to be Schools of Choice. Therefore, its input can help to facilitate a transformation of these under-resourced schools in becoming Schools of Choice thereby producing morally upright, secure and rounded citizens who possess the self-efficacy to complete uniquely creative and challenging tasks while experiencing pride in their diverse skill sets.


Loraine Cooke (Moderator)

Dr. Glenford Duffus

Glenford has spent his career working towards building an educational system in which all students have the opportunity to thrive in a safe and conducive learning environment. He has worked as a teacher and principal providing leadership to inner city elementary and secondary schools as well as serving as Superintendent of Education with the Toronto District School Board and Jamaica’s Ministry of Education.

Alongside this practical experience, Glenford has two Bachelors degrees in Educational Administration and Education, an MA in Educational Administration and an MTh in Theological Studies. He is currently completing his PhD dissertation in Language, Culture and Teaching at York University.

Mr. Leo Gilling

Leo Gilling is a business owner, media personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, writer and photographer. Originally from Oracabessa, Jamaica he currently resides in Miramar, Florida. He has dedicated years of service to the improvement of the education sector and community development in Jamaica, including founding the Jamaican Diaspora Education Task Force (JDETF).

Ms Veronica Gaynor

Kornel Brown