JIS News

Jamaica Day will be celebrated this Friday, February 20, Director of Culture in Education Programme at the Ministry of Education (MOE), Amina Blackwood Meeks, has confirmed.
Mrs. Blackwood Meeks made the disclosure during an interview with JIS News on Monday (February 16).
“Jamaica Day focusses on developing pride in country, and responsible citizenship and locating the students within the history and heritage of Jamaica, so that they will grow to understand their personal responsibility to that wonderful heritage and history,” she explained.
Jamaica Day is celebrated in schools islandwide, and the themes begin with ‘Celebrating Excellence.’
“We begin by affirming that there is a great deal that is positive in Jamaica that should be, must be and needs to be celebrated, if we are to go forward with pride in country and responsible citizenship,” she noted.
This year the theme of Jamaica Day is, ‘Celebrating Jamaica: Honouring the Name that I Bear’.
In the meantime, she said, there are some specific activities that will form part of the celebrations.
“We encourage all the schools to begin Jamaica Day with a flag raising ceremony. That is so important in the restoration of values of love of country and citizenship and patriotism. Then we ask that there is a speaker, or a panel, who can walk the students through an understanding of what the theme means,” she stated. Otherwise, schools mount their own activities.
“Students would have been participating in essay and song writing competitions and, sometimes, the best song, poem or essay would be on display. We encourage schools that the outcome of this research should be, and can be used, in a permanent form; in a brochure for example,” she said.
“We also encourage schools to bring in the parents, and don’t leave out senior citizens, for the history that resides in senior citizens is a very important part of Jamaica Day,” Mrs. Blackwood Meeks noted.
She also pointed out that the activities form part of the curriculum delivery.
“Jamaica Day is not an event. It’s not an excuse to have a wonderful time off from learning. It is part of the delivery of the curriculum. So, when the students are researching the theme, they are using their language and writing skills, when they are setting up their displays, they are using their information technology and the skills from their art and craft session,” she went on.
“They are developing their thinking skills. All of those skills and the outcome of Jamaica Day should find its way into other classes, at least for the rest of the week and certainly throughout the term,” she added.

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