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Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, says the observance of Jamaica Day plays a critical role in highlighting the country’s many attributes, while fostering greater patriotism among the student population.

“We will celebrate every aspect that is good in the country. This day will provide the students with an opportunity to express all of their patriotic sentiments, and we will give thanks for who we are and who we can become,” he said.

The Minister was speaking at the official launch of Jamaica Day, on February 5, at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, in Kingston.

Schools islandwide will be celebrating ‘Jamaica Day 2013’ on Friday, February 22, under the theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaica: I’m On It’.

Rev. Thwaites said that on Jamaica Day 2013, “we have to, as a people, renew our love for work”, adding that it is through hard work that many of the gains and aspirations will be achieved.

He said the Ministry is pleased to support and promote Jamaica Day activities in the schools and encouraged parents to participate in the activities, where possible.

Meanwhile, Director, Culture in Education Programme at the Ministry, Amina Blackwood Meeks, said the national event for the day will take place at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium.

She noted that it will include the participation and involvement of schools all over the island. Apart from the national event, each school will host its individual celebrations.

Jamaica Day is one of the flagship projects of the Culture in Education Programme. It is intended to foster a greater spirit of patriotism and responsible citizenship.

It is also a day for all schools to engage with the communities in which they are located, and the nation as a whole, to mount a big celebration of Jamaica around a specific theme.