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  • Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, is calling for more emphasis to be placed on civics in schools.
  • Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has indicated that the teaching of civics will be incorporated in the curriculum of schools.
  • The clubs have been established in schools and communities across the island.

Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, is calling for more emphasis to be placed on civics in schools.

The move, he said, would greatly assist in promoting positive values and attitudes, respect, and civic pride among students.

“When I used to attend school we had a book called ‘Civics for Young Jamaicans.’ That book would teach us how to be good citizens,” he noted.

Mr. Gordon was addressing the opening ceremony for the 2nd annual conference of the JCDC’s Culture Clubs at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James, on June 21.

Civics, which addresses the rights and duties of citizens, was reintroduced in 12 schools during the 2012/13 academic year, with the teachings of National Hero, Marcus Garvey forming a major component of the curriculum. The content was integrated into various subjects.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has indicated that the teaching of civics will be incorporated in the curriculum of schools.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gordon said the JCDC is hoping that through the work of the culture clubs, respect for national events and symbols will return and will be proudly displayed by Jamaicans.

“We recognise …the scant regard that was being paid to the National Anthem. There are many persons who are not even familiar with the National Pledge and so we recognise that part of our duty as a cultural development movement must be to instil civic pride and the whole matter of citizenship in the minds of our young people,” he said.

Acting Director of the University of the West Indies’ Western Jamaica Campus, (UWI-WJC) Patrick Prendergast, lamented that the country’s youth have adopted an anti-social culture, which has replaced the caring and sharing practices that have served the country well over the years.

“Our young people and our children, they are caught up in a new millennium way of life that makes them antisocial even while spending most of their time on social media. They are caught up in a way of life that makes them disconnected from human experience even while being more connected to the farthest places of the globe. They are exposed to a way of life that draws them into games and activities where the thrill is to be found in how they shoot and how they kill, not the thrill to be found in love and care,” he pointed out.

He said efforts must be made to change what he deems “the new millennium way of life” before it grows into a more destructive force.

Mr. Prendergast hailed the JCDC culture clubs as a good move in “deconstructing the culture of violence,” noting that the effort must be sustained.

The JCDC culture clubs provide a medium through which the development of the arts can be sustained, as well as promote a greater sense of patriotism and civic pride among young people.

The clubs have been established in schools and communities across the island.

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