Geography Awareness Week to Highlight Relevance of Subject

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Manager and Assistant Trainer of the GIS in Schools Education Programme (GISSEP) at the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD), Jumaine Remikie, addresses recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’.

Story Highlights

  • This year’s staging of Geography Awareness Week (GAW) will be dedicated to promoting the use of geography and the relevance of the subject to youngsters and the country.
  • Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Manager and Assistant Trainer of the GIS in Schools Education Programme (GISSEP) at the NSDMD, Jumaine Remikie, cited the value of having youth understand the importance of geography and how it can serve them in their academic and professional pursuits.
  • The week’s activities will be highlighted by Geography Information Systems (GIS) Day on November 15, which will see participation from schools across the country and more than 20 government entities as well as private stakeholders.

This year’s staging of Geography Awareness Week (GAW) will be dedicated to promoting the use of geography and the relevance of the subject to youngsters and the country.

GAW is being hosted by the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD) from November 11 to 17.

Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Manager and Assistant Trainer of the GIS in Schools Education Programme (GISSEP) at the NSDMD, Jumaine Remikie, cited the value of having youth understand the importance of geography and how it can serve them in their academic and professional pursuits.

“Geography is core and should be right on top with mathematics, English and others. Without understanding the way the world interacts, we cannot move forward. GAW is to promote its use,” he said.

The week’s activities will be highlighted by Geography Information Systems (GIS) Day on November 15, which will see participation from schools across the country and more than 20 government entities as well as private stakeholders.

“The students use it as a great avenue to see the different careers available to them when they graduate,” Mr. Remikie said.

He further said the event will be used to promote GIS technology and how it is applicable in a range of fields and subject areas.

The week’s activities will include a career session, as well as a series of events for different audiences, such as a technical session for persons in academia and an executive forum for the business sector to focus on the use of GIS in security and public safety.

Mr. Remikie said after 11 years of hosting GAW and 15 years of GIS Day, the NSDMD has recorded consistent expansion in the response and impact of the events.

“Over the years, we have seen a tremendous impact. There has been a major uptake, and the use of GIS data has increased. We have also seen this in terms of the increasing number of students who turn out for GIS Day. We love this growth; it’s very encouraging to us and we want to see it continue,” he said.

Some 1,000 secondary- and tertiary-level students are expected to be in attendance.

“The numbers really demonstrate that persons are starting to appreciate the subject and see the benefits,” Mr. Remikie added.

Leading up to GAW, the NSDMD is also hosting a jingle, poster and essay competition, which encourages students to submit entries focused on GIS and the use and value of geospatial data by the October 27 deadline. Participating schools have been provided with the information relevant to the competition.

Geography Awareness Week is facilitated through the GIS in Schools Education Programme (GISSEP) of the NSDMD, which has a mandate to ensure that the Government and the public are aware of GIS and how it is being utilised in society as well as how GIS technologies can lead to economic growth and sustainable development.

The activities throughout the week form part of year-long activities by the NSDMD, an agency of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ), which it administers, and to create awareness around geography.

The activities are being done under the theme ‘Geospatial Technologies – Mapping Our Way to Secure Communities’.

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