Launch of Alternative Pathways to Secondary Education

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Jamaica will, for the first time this year, join the African Union and countries with a large African diaspora, to celebrate Africa Day on May 25.

Senior Education Officer in the Ministry of Education and Youth, Marlon Williams, said the celebration of Africa Day will form part of the Culture in Education Programme in schools.

On that day, schools will have the opportunity to execute activities focusing on Jamaica’s African culture and heritage.

“It will provide our children and young people with in-depth knowledge of the continent as part of a national effort to erase some of the misconceptions and misinformation which are often rife among our people about the Continent of Africa,” Mr. Williams told JIS News.

The Mona Heights Primary School in Kingston has been selected as the ‘Featured School’ for the event this year. The school will showcase aspects of four African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia) being celebrated this year. Activities will include a fashion show and an exhibition showcasing their cultures and cuisines.

Other schools across the island will be required to select one of the four African countries for their focused activity.

For example, Ghana – a source of most of the Africans captured and transported to Jamaica; Nigeria – also a source of most of the Africans captured and transported to Jamaica; South Africa – Jamaica’s strong relationship with this country, including our contribution to the release of Nelson Mandela, and Ethiopia – its relationship with the Rastafari community.

Schools are asked to use the day to organise a ceremony aimed at celebrating the selected country. The focus can be on its location, capital, population, national and official language(s), political leadership, food and other cultural expressions, national flag, motto and anthem.

Other Africa Day activities can include but not be limited to Staging an African-themed fashion show, supported by appropriate musical selections and other African cultural expressions that have been retained by Jamaicans, and mounting a pictorial exhibition on the country selected.

According to Mr. Williams, the Ministry continues to place emphasis on character building among students in all that they do. As such, the schools are reminded to use the activities to also highlight and promote positive values and attitudes in students as “we continue to build their character”.

Culture Agents assigned to schools are tasked with the responsibility to lead the organisation of planned activities.

The celebration of Africa Day is a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Ministry of Education and Youth.

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