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JIS News

The Education Transformation Team (ETT) on (Nov.15) officially launched its Citizenship Education Programme, which is aimed at improving values and attitudes and promoting a sense of patriotism among students.
The programme, which started in October in 120 primary and high schools, is part of the Behaviour Change and Community Work Stream, which seeks to address anti-social behaviour, disciplinary problems and attendance in schools, and foster increased stakeholder participation in education.
It will work to reduce indiscipline and inappropriate behaviour in schools; improve harmonious relations in entire school communities; and enhance relations between schools and the wider community.
At the launch held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Dr. Frank Weeple, Executive Director of the ETT, noted that the Citizenship Education Programme is a central component of the drive to address the challenging issues of anti-social behaviour in the society.
“This is an area that is getting more and more attention across the globe and I think we have got an opportunity here in Jamaica to develop a good practice model that we can probably share with other countries,” he said.
He noted that “we spent some time in modifying the programme so we are very pleased to be here today at this stage to launch it.”
Programme Director, Celia Champagnie, explained that six trainers have been hired to work with the initial 120 schools to implement teaching guidelines that have been developed for teachers.
“By these means, the Citizenship Programme will be infused in various subject areas instead of being taught separately as a subject, but we hope by next year to actually have it as a separate subject area,” she said.
She added that the programme will focus on behaviour change by decreasing the amount of time that is spent correcting anti-social behaviour within the classroom.”So it will impact on all subject areas where students and teachers are no longer distracted by bad behaviour in the classroom and they will be able to work and absorb more information and work better at other subject areas,” Miss Champagnie said.
According to the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), citizenship education can be defined as educating children, from early childhood to become clear thinking and enlightened citizens, who participate in decisions concerning society.