The Associate of Arts degree in Music that will educate teachers on how to use music as a tool in academic curriculum delivery, is awaiting accreditation from the University of the West Indies (UWI).
The programme’s courses are being drafted by lecturers on the Academic Board for Music, under the Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE).
Details were provided by Chairman of the Academic Board, Everton Clarke, while visiting Church Teachers’ College in Mandeville, Manchester, with Jamaica Education Transformation Commission (JETC) Chairman, Professor Orlando Patterson, recently.
Mr. Clarke said the Board initially anticipated the approval for September 2022, but indicated that it may be delayed because of the UWI’s quality control and vetting processes.
“So once approved, all the colleges [under the Board] would have the opportunity to offer the programme,” he informed.
Additionally, Mr. Clarke said the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund has provided financing to all colleges on the JBTE Board, for the expansion of their music programmes.
He explained that this is needed, as the Ministry of Education and Youth continues to encourage subject specialisation for teacher training, adding “we’re hoping the Arts, music in particular, would be one of those specialisations.”
“We complain daily about the power of dancehall artistes. But we can see the influence of the music reaching all over and we’re having bad behaviours because of that. That is the power of music… so why not use it as a tool to teach?” he articulated.
Teachers’ colleges on the Board include Bethlehem Moravian College in St. Elizabeth; College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Portland; Church Teachers’ College, Mandeville; G.C. Foster College, St. Catherine; Moneague College, St. Ann; Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College, St. James; and Shortwood Teachers’ College and St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College in Kingston.
The JBTE has certified over 50,000 teachers across the Caribbean, mainly from the Bahamas, Belize, and Jamaica.