Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has officially launched the Teachings of Garveyism in the New Civics Programme to be introduced in schools beginning this September.
The Education Minister, in praising the work of National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, said that the teaching of Garveyism is about building value systems in the schools.
"Today, resolutely and over all the grades of schools from pre-primary up to grades 11, we say as a people, that we honour our own and that we will uplift the values and attitudes of our people. We will remember one amongst us who struggled so that we could have that second emancipation which is our right and our heritage,” the Minister said, while delivering the main address at the official launch yesterday (August 17), at the Marcus Garvey Technical High School in St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann.
"We recognise that the objective of our education system cannot only have students who are getting eight and ten subjects at CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate). We want students who are conscious of themselves, who know their place of dignity, of worth, who understand their rights and their responsibilities as citizens of Jamaica. Starting September 3, not as an optional extra, but as a mandatory part of the curriculum of every grade in schools in Jamaica…so that we can understand the pride and the dignity and the seriousness and the responsibility of being Jamaican, and following in the footsteps of one from this parish and after whom this noble school has been named,” Minister Thwaites told his audience.
The Minister recounted that during a recent visit to Turkey, he saw a pattern of education where little children, by the time they reached grade one, were so confirmed in their nationality and understood the work, heroism and greatness of their people.
"How much can we afford it to be here in Jamaica?” he asked.
“This is a time of our year of Jubilee when we must stand up for ourselves. This is a time in Jamaica when after many false starts, the campaign of values and attitudes now begin in earnest, rooted and founded in our National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey."
The Minister reminded the packed auditorium that Garvey stood for excellence and honesty, and that his message was pure and good for identity, was against a system that oppressed and that worked against prosperity for all. He called on Jamaicans to live Garvey in their everyday lives by giving their children the best education possible and in being mindful of their treatment of other people.
"He stood for freedom. It is not a racist message and it is a not a classist message. It is a message that echoes the sublime theological truth that all men are made equal and that the history of serfdom, of slavery, the history of placing one race higher than another is repugnant to any value, to our social order and any hope of prosperity,” the Minister argued.
Marcus Garvey was born in St. Ann’s Bay in 1887. The Government of Jamaica has officially declared August 17, the date of his birth, Marcus Garvey Day.