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Jamaica Celebrates Africa Day May 25

This year, for the second time, Africa Day will be celebrated in Jamaica on May 25.

Schools are expected to plan activities with a focus on Jamaica’s African culture, under the theme ‘Celebrating Africa: Sankofa, Return to the Root’. Senior Education Officer in the Core Curriculum Unit of the Ministry of Education and Youth and Chair of the Africa Day Planning Committee, Marlon Williams, told JIS News that, last year, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport reached out to the Education Ministry expressing the desire to have this day be recognised annually across the nation, especially in the schools.

“Celebrating Africa Day is of great importance, as it affords our students, the rest of Jamaica and the world with in-depth knowledge of Africa and provides clarity where there is misinformation,” Mr. Williams said.

Schools are asked to use an appropriate time of the day to stage a ceremony aimed at celebrating the selected country or countries and which should include the wearing of African-themed dress to school.

The focus can be on the selected country’s location, capital, population, national and official language(s), political leadership, food and other cultural expressions, national flag, motto and anthem.

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

Schools may select at least one of the following – Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia to be the country of focus. Mr. Williams also said that while all schools will be celebrating the day, Buff Bay Primary School in Portland has been selected as the “Featured School” for 2023. The school will be showcasing aspects of the four countries being celebrated this year.

“They are lining up a very interesting and entertaining package for the day, which will include participation from stakeholders, such as the Maroons,” he said. “The Ministry of Education and Youth continues to place emphasis on character building among our students in all that they do. As such, the schools are being reminded to use the activities to also highlight and promote positive values and attitudes in our students as we continue to build their character,” Mr. Williams pointed out.