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Story Highlights

  • Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the teaching of civics will be re-introduced in schools.
  • “Our students must know their basic human rights, know about Universal Adult Suffrage and the great men and women who fought for it. We want our citizens to be proud Jamaicans,” the Minister said.
  • Senator Reid said he has a lot of confidence in the nation’s teachers and also the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) as an organization, and he will do everything in his power to forge meaningful partnerships.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the teaching of civics will be re-introduced in schools.

He emphasised that national awareness is an important part of a child’s development, and  the teaching of civics must again occupy its rightful pride of place in  schools.

Addressing principals and teachers at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) 15th Annual Education Conference, held at Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort, in St. Ann, on March 29, Mr. Reid said students must be taught about their history – where they are coming from and where they intend to go.

“Our students must know their basic human rights, know about Universal Adult Suffrage and the great men and women who fought for it. We want our citizens to be proud Jamaicans,” the Minister said.

He added that teachers must also never compromise on the importance of having good values and attitudes as core principles, stressing that to do otherwise would be succumbing to “crassness, rudeness and lewdness.”

“We need to get back to the good, young days when saying good morning, thank you, and please was almost second nature. Boorishness and indecency must be relegated to the dunce benches,”  Senator Reid said.

The Minister  told the teachers that the conference theme: ‘Effective Teaching and Learning: Bridging the Achievement Gaps’, is very timely and should assist in charting a way forward.

“The ultimate goal is for our students to realize their fullest potential. We need to grab every opportunity to strengthen our craft as education practitioners. It is our responsibility to keep ourselves sharp. We need to constantly renew our methodologies and approaches,” Senator Reid encouraged.

The Minister argued that  today’s approaches might be largely outdated by next year, noting that the manner in which students learn today “is probably more dynamic than ever before.”

“Information is now at the touch of a button and new media are quickly evolving as a kind of master teacher. It’s a different world, with vast challenges and opportunities,” he said.

The Minister pointed out that while there have been noticeable improvement in the percentages of students who pass Mathematics, English and the Sciences, there is hardly any room for complacency.

Senator Reid said he has a lot of confidence in the nation’s teachers and also the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) as an organization, and he will do everything in his power to forge meaningful partnerships.

“My time in office will be grounded in partnerships. I am the first to say that while I know a fair bit, I don’t know everything. Therefore, I ask for your help,” he added.

The Minister recalled  that he once served  as President of the JTA and was honoured to have done so.

“This association has taught me so much. The JTA provided me with many opportunities to springboard into additional service.  The JTA will always occupy a crucial part of my life and I will always seek to be of help to this association, where it is possible,” he said.

“Let us work towards building and conquering new frontiers in education. Jamaica’s prosperity depends on synergies. No country can achieve prosperity without a thoroughly educated and skilled population. There are no substitutes here,” the Minister emphasised.