KINGSTON — Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, and President of the Spanish Jamaica Foundation, Her Excellency Celsa Nuno, has issued an appeal for the Ministry of Education to make Spanish compulsory at all levels of the education system.
She pledged that her Embassy "would spare no effort to support the Ministry" in that endeavor.
"Being able to speak Spanish – and I say so in the presence of the Minister of State for Education (Hon. Gregory Mair), who is fully bilingual – is a tool for the economic empowerment of the youth of this country, and I encourage the Ministry to take the decision to make it compulsory not only in the secondary but primary schools," she urged.
The Spanish Ambassador was addressing a ceremony on December 1st to hand over furniture and educational material to the Naz Children's Centre in Ironshore, St. James.
Naz Children’s Centre is a mixed-ability school, with approximately 42 students on roll, age 4 to 12 years. It has been in operation since 2005.
Mr. Mair, who brought greetings at the ceremony, praised the “uniqueness” of the school in catering to children with different abilities at the same time. He said the approach is something that should be explored for replication across the education system and incorporated into government policy.
The Education State Minister noted that while progress has been made “we still have a far way to go as a nation in how we perceive persons with special abilities".
"We have to find a way to incorporate them in our society and accept that they can play a part in nation building," he stated.
Approximately $150,000 worth of furniture and educational supplies were donated to the school by the Spanish Jamaica Foundation.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter