JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Education is advancing the teaching of Garveyism in schools, while reporting satisfaction with the progress of the Civics in Schools Programme.
  • The civics programme was officially introduced to the school curriculum during the 2012/13 academic year to mark Marcus Garvey’s 125th birthday.
  • The Ministry plans to highlight the life and achievement of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA at the Jamaica Day main event.

The Ministry of Education is advancing the teaching of Garveyism in schools, while reporting satisfaction with the progress of the Civics in Schools Programme now being rolled out in institutions across the island.

The civics programme was officially introduced to the school curriculum during the 2012/13 academic year to mark Marcus Garvey’s 125th birthday. The teachings of Garvey form a major component of the curriculum.

Speaking at Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank on Tuesday, February 18, Director of the Culture in Education Programme in the Ministry, Amina Blackwood-Meeks, expressed the Ministry’s satisfaction with the implementation of the civics curriculum, being introduced via 12 beacon schools in the six education regions across the island.

“The schools are doing satisfactorily with the programme (and) there are some schools that are doing an excellent job of the programme. They will demonstrate to us exactly how the programme can be successfully implemented so that we can assist other schools in their region to reach their level of excellence,” she disclosed.

Explaining the composition of the programme, Ms. Blackwood-Meeks noted that the content is integrated into various subjects.

“The programme is not intended for us to say Marcus Garvey said, ‘Up you mighty race, you can accomplish what you will’, but what it does is indicate what we could, should and can be doing with that legacy to advance our lives in 2014,” she pointed out.

She was speaking against the background of plans by the Ministry to highlight the life and achievement of the National Hero, and to mark the centenary of the establishment of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) at the Jamaica Day main event, scheduled for the Garvey Maceo High School in Clarendon on February 28.

“Part of the activities at Garvey Maceo will be for our children to learn what it means to be an international citizen in 2014, how do you place yourself in terms of knowledge, skill, attitudes, seeing yourself as part of a broader collective, thinking globally but acting locally, (and) in terms of Garvey’s own concern for oppressed people everywhere in the world,” Ms. Blackwood-Meeks said.

Meanwhile, teacher at White Marl Primary and Junior High School in St. Catherine, Rosemarie Roberts, in an interview with JIS News, expressed delight with the reintroduction of civics in Jamaica’s education system. The students, she said, are also enthused about the content.

“We are very happy that the Ministry has seen it fit to re-introduce it into the schools. I am sure the children can only benefit from this and the wider society as well,” she said.

Ms. Roberts pointed out that the school takes a broad approach to the topics by also focusing on socialization and how to become worthwhile citizens. “Students are now learning about government and democracy, and are focusing on other aspects of culture, areas that other parts of the curriculum have not been looking at,” she shared.

As part of the delivery of the programme, the school plans to take the students on visits to Jamaica House, Parliament and King’s House.

Ms. Roberts informed that two students from the school were among a group from the United Nations Club, who paid a courtesy call on Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, last week.