As at August this year, students benefitting under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) will have free entry to museums and galleries of the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) and the annual Emancipation/Independence activities.
This will be facilitated through culture cards to be provided by the Ministry of Youth and Culture.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who made the announcement during her contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 18, said that “with this card, based on modalities that we are currently ironing out, these children and young people will have free entry to these facilities on a regular basis”.
“This will include the establishment of a database of new audiences, which will then be passed on to the private cultural sector,” she added.
Ms. Hanna said it is the intention of the Ministry to invite the private cultural sector, such as theatresand dance companies,to participate in theprogramme,which is intended to result in wider access and appreciation of culture.
She said the Ministry of Youth and Culture intends to work closely with the Ministry of Education to develop more dynamic programmes “that will cause the nation’s children to leave school knowing more about our culture”.
“We need to identify,together,the cultural content that every child must know at each stage of their education. We must identify what cultural experiences our children must have if they are going to grow up as committed citizens of Jamaica. The truth is too many prefer to live elsewhere or simply cannot wait to go elsewhere and we must face it and deal with it,” Ms. Hanna said.
She noted that among the objectives of the Cultural Policy,which is being reviewed are “the building out of a culture and education framework to establish curriculum and other programmes to ensure that the nation’s children know more about their culture and develop the self concept that will allow them, like our forebears, to stand up and be counted in world affairs and in transformation of our country”.
Contact: Chris Patterson