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Story Highlights

  • Minister Thwaites says cultural studies should be included in the curriculum, in order to enable students to have a greater understanding and appreciation of their heritage.
  • Schools islandwide will observe ‘Jamaica Day’ on Friday, February 28, 2014, under the theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaica: Sporting Greatness in My Community’.
  • Rev. Thwaites further pointed out that the teaching of cultural studies is crucial to the development of one’s self and identity.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says schools should consider incorporating cultural studies in their curriculum, in order to enable students to have a greater understanding and appreciation of their heritage.

Rev. Thwaites was speaking at the official launch of Jamaica Day activities, at the Ministry, in Kingston, on February 4.

Schools islandwide will observe ‘Jamaica Day’ on Friday, February 28, 2014, under the theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaica: Sporting Greatness in My Community’.

Rev. Thwaites further pointed out that the teaching of cultural studies is crucial to the development of one’s self and identity.

“If our young people are to settle down, learn well and appreciate who they are, then we will have to craft a new understanding of cultural studies in our schools,” the Minister said.

He added that cultural studies should not only be used for performances, but for a deeper “understanding of how we are made and how we are crafted, in order to be able to advance the welfare of the whole human race.”

Highlighting the significance of this year’s theme, Rev. Thwaites encouraged Jamaicans to support those who aspire and show potential for greatness, particularly within the schools.

“The potential of greatness lies within every Jamaican in every town, district and community across this blessed country,” he said.

The Minister encouraged Jamaicans to celebrate with the nation’s children and to help create the context in which their understanding of national pride has practical application.

“Our beloved country is pressing forward through many challenges…the levels of social dysfunctionality present in our schools need the attention of all persons of goodwill. We need to create communities of care around each school, around each student, and Jamaica Day 2014 is an appropriate occasion for everyone to play their part in this regard,” he said.

Director,  Culture in Education Programme, at the Ministry, Amina Blackwood Meeks, informed that the national focus school on Jamaica Day will be the Garvey Maceo High School in Clarendon.

She informed that agencies such as the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ)/Jamaica Memory Bank, Social Development Commission (SDC), Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), National Library of Jamaica, and the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), among others, are expected to participate in the day’s activities.

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, and for all schools to engage with the communities in which they are located.

The main aims of Jamaica Day 2014 celebrations are to advance the teachings of Garveyism in the National Civics Programme and to build partnerships between schools and communities in fulfilment of strategic objective five of the School Improvement Plan, which states that schools should “build partnerships with donors, private sector partners, the community, parents, employers and those committed to creating a strong education system to build the nation.”