The talents of students at Maggotty High School, in St. Elizabeth, were on show last week, as the school staged a Jamaica Day celebration.
Students rendered musical selections and took part in a fashion parade, with support from neighbouring schools.
Principal Director of Culture in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Sydney Bartley, said that Jamaica Day is a concept that was introduced in the Ministry of Education, years ago.
“It has taken off, and it gives the students an opportunity to focus on Jamaica. For example, when Bolivar wanted to liberate South America, he came to Jamaica. When Jose Marti wanted to liberate Cuba from Spain, he spent time in Jamaica, and got assistance. The Americans got help from Jamaica, in the American war for independence, and we were responsible for the change that happened in Haiti,” he said.
He told the students that in everything they do, they must maintain respect for their peers and others. “We need to respect our women. Garvey spoke about respecting women as the way in which you measure the character of a society. And I believe, when a young man approaches a young lady, he can find a way to do it respectfully, instead of being coarse. A lot of what happens in Jamaica result from how we talk to each other, how we relate to each other. The kinds of words we use to speak to each other, we need to get rid of the negatives from around us,” Mr. Bartley said.
Head Boy at Maggotty High, Dowayne Powell, said Jamaica Day is an event that reminds everyone of the country’s achievements, and also helps the young people to rise to challenges, and show that everyone can do great things.
“It helps us to remember where we are coming from, and to know the struggles that we had to face, and today we are better off,” he said.
Meanwhile, Head Girl, Fay Williams said the country has a unique culture, where people from around the world want to be Jamaicans, and everything that is highlighted at Jamaica Day, shows why people admire our country.
“Education is the key to everything, it is the key to not being in slavery, so, if we educate ourselves, we don t have to go back to where we are coming from. There is no turning back, once you have education,” the Head Girl said.
Jamaica Day will be celebrated in most schools on February 25, under the theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaica, Feasting on Our Heritage’.
CONTACT: GARFIELD L. ANGUS
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE