Remarks by Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education
Launch of Jamaica Day Celebrations, February 16, 2016
Salutations and Acknowledgements
Jamaica Day is an important point of reflection, particularly in schools. This is when we identify and celebrate excellence among the Jamaican people.
The Ministry of Education takes seriously our responsibility to instil moral and social values in our children. This includes giving and reinforcing a positive view of self.
We do this in a variety of ways: through the Health and Family Life Education curriculum, the Valuable Pathways programme and the teaching of Civics among other initiatives.
In this regard, we have produced a series of textbooks exploring the lifestyles of several of our national heroes including the most internationally known among them, the Rt Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
Our hope and intention are for the education system to produce students who respect and love God, country and compatriots.
We who are in the education system need to consistently lift the spirits of our children and youth --so much negativity is around them via the popular culture.
This presents a challenge to educators to be role models and mentors that inspire greatness in our children.
One of the areas in which Jamaicans excel is the arts -more so in the performing arts. We love to dance, sing, recite poems deejay, as well as write lyrics for songs and poems.
When we combine our skills in both the fine and performing arts what stands out is our creativity as a people. This creativity is now showing itself in our ability to be animators [Expand on earning potential].
And creative skills can be applied to other areas such as design for a multiplicity of media platforms including websites and digital gaming technology.
This is why it is important for us to integrate our artistic skills with competencies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to get STEAM.
So for Jamaica Day, 2016 let us celebrate the artist or artiste in us for we are a creative and expressive people.
It is my pleasure to launch Jamaica Day Celebrations which will be observed in our schools on Friday, March 4, 2016.