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The first round of celebrations for ‘Jamaica Day,’ will be held at the Buff Bay High School in Portland on November 18.
Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson made this disclosure at a special launching ceremony held at the auditorium of the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC) in Kingston recently.
The celebrations, to be held under the theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaican Women: Hammers and Rocks’ will pay tribute to the country’s women, emphasizing the contribution they have made to the country’s development.
Principal of the Buff Bay High School, Nadine Malloy, informed that activities to be held on the day, would entail a parade depicting outstanding women; displays and exhibitions featuring the works of Jamaican women; dramatic readings from Caribbean Examination Council Texts (CXC) featuring women; panel presentations, and music & drama.
She further added that a number of outstanding women would be in attendance including the Minister of Education, Youth & Culture, women priests, high-ranking female police officers, and women who are part of the Jamaica Agricultural Society and the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.
An initiative of the Culture in Education Programme in the Ministry, the celebration in Portland is one of three to be held this academic year, to mark Jamaica Day.
According to the Director of the Culture in Education Programme, Amina Blackwood Meeks, Jamaica Day celebrations for the Easter term would focus on Jamaican men, who will be celebrated under the theme: Celebrating Jamaican Men: Stronger Souls with Finer Frames, while during the summer term, emphasis will be placed on language as it relates to how we talk to each other, thus the theme: Celebrating Jamaica Talk: From the Abeng to the Cell phone.
Minister Henry-Wilson lauded the emphasis on Jamaican women, noting that they have made “sterling contributions” to the development of Jamaica. “What keeps many of them [women] going, above all else, is a commitment to nation building, a desire to mold and shape the kind of Jamaica that will sustain the image of excellence and creativity,” she asserted.
The Culture in Education Programme was instituted as a response to the growing national trends of anti-social and destructive behaviours among Jamaican youth. Studies show, that one of the major contributors to this anti-social behaviour, was the peripheral nature of young people’s knowledge of and participation in their own culture and traditions.
“The concern was placed within the context of the proliferation of the cable television and satellite that exposed Jamaican young people to.a diet of foreign influences, lifestyles and values,” Minister Henry Wilson pointed out. “The idea is not to cut them off from the rest of the world. but we have to make sure that our children have an appreciation of the local even as they have an appreciation of the global,” she emphasized.
‘Jamaica Day’ was first launched at the Glenmuir High School in Clarendon, in 2001. The programme serves to explore different aspects of Jamaica’s culture, with the aim of creating more awareness and understanding among the student population. It will look at what it means to be a Jamaican and the responsibility of students in nation building.