‘Jamaica Day’ Ideal Way to Instil Nationalism

Governor-General His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (left), presents a copy of the proclamation declaring February 26, 2010 'Jamaica Day', to Director of the Culture in Education Programme in the Education Ministry, Amina Blackwood Meeks, at a brief ceremony at King's House in Kingston on Friday, January 15

Governor-General His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has said that the celebration of ‘Jamaica Day’ in schools is an ideal way to instil the spirit of nationalism in citizens that is necessary for the social development of the country.

“Jamaica Day provides a good opportunity for all Jamaicans to partner with young people to help define and create the most suitable context within which Jamaicans can be the best example of humanity, first to Jamaicans and ultimately to the rest of the world,” he stated.

The Governor-General was reading the proclamation declaring February 26, 2010 as Jamaica Day, during a brief ceremony at King’s House in Kingston today, (January 15). The staging of Jamaica Day within schools is one of the flagship projects of the Culture in Education Programme of the Education Ministry.

He said that now is an opportune time to enhance the profile of Jamaica Day, and therefore broaden national participation in the activities in order to align with national development objectives.

The Governor-General commended the programme and supporting agencies for the level of enthusiasm and interest shown in “branding Jamaica in the hearts of our children,” noting that it is very important “that each Jamaican has a vision of what it is to be a Jamaican, not just in terms of being born here, but also what is involved in being a good citizen.”

Governor-General His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (left), engages in a light moment with (from 2nd left), Principal Director of Culture in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Sydney Bartley; Assistant Chief Education Officer in the Core Curriculum Unit of the Education Ministry, Mary Campbell; and Director of the Culture in Education Programme in the Education Ministry, Amina Blackwood Meeks. Occasion was a function held at King's House in Kingston on Friday, January 15, where the Governor-General read the proclamation declaring February 26, 2010 as 'Jamaica Day'.

Director of the programme, Mrs. Amina Blackwood Meeks, said that she was very elated and honoured that the Governor-General had agreed to partner with the programme.

She noted that when the first Jamaica Day was held in May 2002, only 11 schools were involved in the programme, but the numbers have grown to encompass all institutions across the island.

“We look forward to partnering with the entire Jamaica, every single citizen, every man, woman, boy and girl, the business community, to make this the best Jamaica Day,” she said.

‘Jamaica Day’ is celebrated once every academic year, on the last Friday in February and is designated to showcase aspects of Jamaica’s culture through the performing arts, visits to historical sites, sporting activities and recognition of outstanding citizens.

The Culture in Education Programme, which places culture as the context, content and methodology for learning, is used as a mechanism within the classroom to enrich curriculum delivery.

It also serves as a tool for building clubs and societies as well as a device for giving meaning to the performing arts programme of various institutions.