Corporate Jamaica Urged to Help Schools Establish Music Programmes

Photo: JIS Photographer Members of the Bickersteth Primary School boys choir in St. James, lift their voices at the Ministry Of Education Region 4’s Boys’ Choir Festival 2013, which was held on May 28 at the Bethel Primary and Junior High School in Hopewell, Hanover.

Corporate Jamaica is being urged to help schools acquire musical instruments, to enhance the Ministry of Education’s efforts towards the establishment of performing arts programmes.

Regional Director in the Ministry’s Region 4, Hillary Foster, made the appeal as she addressed the opening of the region’s 4th annual Boys’ Choir Festival on Tuesday, May 28, at the Bethel Primary and Junior High School in Hopewell, Hanover.

She stated that the move is an important part of the thrust to “save our boys”.

[RELATED:Boys Show Off Musical Prowess at Choir Festival]

“We are encouraging some of our stakeholders to get on board and to assist the schools in their efforts to get musical instruments because we want to integrate the music into the curriculum as we go on because … the performing arts will help to maximise the learning opportunities for the boys,” she said.

The festival was held under the theme: ‘Empowering our boys through music’ and saw hundreds of boys from 30 primary and junior high schools competing in the categories of gospel, folk and reggae.

Observing that boys often underperform in comparison to their female counterparts, the Regional Director said that concerted effort is being made through the annual festival, to provide them with the opportunity to showcase their talents in singing and music. She emphasises that boys are special and the aim is to enhance their self esteem and motivate them to perform at a higher level academically.

“We, at the Ministry of Education, believe that music should be central to the school curriculum, because it improves the children’s wellbeing. In addition, we really do not want our boys to be left behind and as we listen to them sing today, we just want to encourage them in all subject areas, as we are convinced that music enhances the reading and writing skills. We also believe that music calms them and helps them to deal with anger and despair and such powerful emotions,” Mrs. Foster said.

Master Teacher in music at the Herbert Morrison Technical High School in Montego Bay, Carl Matthews, endorses the objectives of the festival and also supports the call for Corporate Jamaica to help schools establish music programmes.

“This initiative is an excellent one … as it empowers boys on a whole and allows them to perform, playing musical instruments, choreographing and doing very well at it. The only thing that is missing is for Corporate Jamaica to come on board and take a good look and support this great initiative,” he stated.

Contact: Glenis A. Rose

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