• Feature
    Students, teachers and parents actively engaged in activities during the 2019 Heritage Expo at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann, on October 16
    Photo: Avair Nembhard

    Story Highlights

    • Teachers and students who attended the 23rd staging of the 2019 Heritage Expo at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann have hailed the event as culturally entertaining and educationally rich.
    • The event, dubbed ‘Experience Cultural Fusion’, saw the over 2,000 teachers, students and parents in attendance being immersed in a day of cultural experience, ranging from exhibitions, dance, art and music.
    • The event, which was held on October 16, was geared towards encouraging the school community and citizens to appreciate the evolution of education in Jamaica and the impact of cultural heritage to this transition.

    Teachers and students who attended the 23rd staging of the 2019 Heritage Expo at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann have hailed the event as culturally entertaining and educationally rich.

    The event, dubbed ‘Experience Cultural Fusion’, saw the over 2,000 teachers, students and parents in attendance being immersed in a day of cultural experience, ranging from exhibitions, dance, art and music.

    The event, which was held on October 16, was geared towards encouraging the school community and citizens to appreciate the evolution of education in Jamaica and the impact of cultural heritage to this transition.

    Teacher at the Faith Tabernacle Basic School in Claremont, St. Ann, Melonie Clarke, said it was the school’s fifth appearance at the event, noting that activities should enhance the teaching and learning process.

    “The activity is a very important one, in that on a yearly basis we have to look at the different cultures in our schools. We ensure that our children come here, so that they can get hands-on activities they can participate in. When we go back to school and we’re integrating and teaching these subjects, the students can relate to them even more,” she told JIS News.

    Grade-four teacher at the Lower Buxton All-Age in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, Demetha Barnett, said the expo provided an avenue for students to better understand previous generations and the country’s rich cultural heritage.

    “I think it was important for us to come here, because it is a way to allow students to know what our heritage is and how we can preserve our national heritage,” she said.

    It was her first year attending the expo as a teacher at the institution, and Ms. Barnett told JIS News that she was pleased that the elements of the heritage expo tied in with aspects of the National Standards Curriculum (NSC).

    “It was both entertaining and educational. In the new NSC, from grades four to six, for Social Studies and Language Arts, it is a thematic approach that is based on our culture and national heritage. So, for the students, it was like a first-hand experience with the touring of the great house. There were a lot of artefacts, and a lot of information as it relates to our history and heritage,” she added.

    For first-form student at the Westwood High School in Trelawny, Camielia Thompson, the cultural exposition highlighted at the event benefited her and other students tremendously.

    She told JIS News that she garnered new knowledge about Jamaica’s heritage, which she will translate into the classroom.

    “I enjoyed the dances performed by the various groups that presented today. Overall, it was a very great experience and I learnt a lot about our heritage that I didn’t know before. So, there are some facts that I found out today and I enjoyed seeing the Nigerian persons dancing,” Camielia said.

    Grade-four student, Dwight Riley, who attends the Forte George Primary and Infant School in St Ann, said the fun event provided an opportunity for him to gain insight about Jamaica’s history.

    “The event was fun. I learned a lot about our history, especially about the Tainos. I also got to spend time with my teachers and friends,” Dwight said.

    Meanwhile, Heritage Event Consultant for the 2019 Heritage Expo, Joan Seagears, expressed satisfaction that the event surpassed the expectations of the hundreds of teachers, students and parents who attended.

    Heritage Event Consultant for the 2019 Heritage Expo, Joan Seagears, in an interview with JIS News, during the 2019 Heritage Expo at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann, on October 16.

    She said that the significance of the event was to encourage children to have an appreciation for the nation’s cultural heritage.

    “One way we can grow this event is by asking Jamaicans to accept this and to embrace it, to love the culture and to encourage the family to come to events like these. We don’t want to only show it to children, we want adults to see it and appreciate it too, so that they can teach their children about what happened here (at Seville). We want to show how the culture can help children to be proud of themselves as Jamaicans,” Ms. Seagears emphasised.

    Some 150 schools from across the island attended the expo, the largest turnout since its first staging in 1996.

    The event also featured exhibitions from the Nigerian Embassy, Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), Dolphin Cove, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), St. Ann Health Department, CALS Manufacturing and the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

    The 320-acre Seville Heritage site boasts a museum/heritage education centre, which displays a wide array of artefacts and ruins, representing an accurate and comprehensive report of our Amerindian, European and African fore-parents, their individual cultures and how these cultures interacted.