JIS News

Reverend Dr. Gordon Cowan, Principal of Knox High School in Clarendon, has said that the Jamaican culture should be the foundation on which the education system is built.
“The Jamaican culture should be the bedrock of the Jamaican education system. We should find in our culture, the ways to teach and to educate our children,” he emphasised.
Citing the residential Visual and Performing Arts Summer Camp hosted by Knox, the principal said it sought to educate students on the Jamaican culture, through the use of the visual and performing arts.
Dr. Cowan said that many of the social problems being encountered by the country could be better addressed if more young persons are exposed to the visual and performing arts. He said that while the institution is seeking to meet several objectives through the camp’s activities, the chief one is an attempt to provide solutions to some of the social ills facing the society.
“In our culture is to be found many of the answers that we need for Jamaica’s present questions. So, it is the use of the performing and visual arts that can increase the knowledge of our culture among our young people, and that knowledge can be used for behavioural modification, for improvement in attitude, better self image and just the way children can behave and operate as young Jamaican citizens,” he said.
Dr. Cowan hailed the camp, which ended on July 22, as a tremendous success, expressing his amazement at the pace with which the students, many of whom had no previous exposure, learnt the subject matter.
“We think that if more schools utilise the performing arts, many of the problems we are facing, we would be able to find answers to those problems,” he said.
Performing artiste, Yekengale, one of the organizers, said that since music has the ability to influence, “it should be on the cutting edge of whatever transformation the country is expecting to make, and needs to be one of the areas of deep focus.”
“We have the reputation of being one of the most violent countries in the world, where the crime is most intense, that’s where the music needs to happen most intensely. It’s not just therapy, its healing,” he asserted.
Student of St. Francis Primary, 10 year-old Vanessa Sinclair, said the camp experience had enriched her life, allowing her to form new friendships and to gain a wealth of experience in various areas.
Vanessa said she is looking forward to September, when she will return to school and teach her friends the Dinki Mini, May Pole, Quadrille and other skills learnt at the camp.