JIS News

The Culture Agents Programme will be expanded this year, with the training and deployment of persons to schools to increase the cultural knowledge of the nation’s children.
Education, Youth and Culture Minister Maxine Henry-Wilson, who was delivering the opening presentation in the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate at Gordon House on May 10, noted that the Ministry would be seeking to integrate Jamaica’s rich culture into the curricula of schools from the early childhood to the tertiary levels.
“The integrated arts curriculum as well as the enhancement of secondary education speak to content and methodologies of delivery that promote creativity, self expression and awareness of self and environment,” she stated.
She indicated that the Ministry was promoting an integrated approach to cultural development, through the Inter-ministerial Inter Agency Committee for Culture.
This grouping, she informed, “brings together on a regular scale, our agency heads, to plan and share in common defined goals and objectives. It is our intention this year, to take it at the ministerial level through the re-establishment of the National Council on Cultural Affairs”, she informed members of the House.
The Education Minister said that there had been greater synergies among culture agencies, citing collaboration with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) in curriculum development, by utilizing culture and the arts as a basis for education delivery.
She also cited the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and the Institute of Jamaica, as two institutions that would be instrumental in furthering the process of cultural development.
In the case of the Edna Manley College, she asserted that the College bore the responsibility for training teachers to use culture in demonstrating personal discipline, self-confidence and a sense of community. She noted that the Ministry would be promoting greater collaboration between the JCDC and the College to hone and develop the strong artistic talents of children and young people.
As for the Institute of Jamaica, the Minister said, “as the repository of Jamaica’s cultural history, the Institute and the National Library will develop a mechanism of deeper collaboration with curriculum development to promote indigenous knowledge both in technology and science as well as general awareness. This will be fundamental to our thrust for greater cultural identity.”

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