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Civics to be re-introduced into schools

Published:Thursday | March 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Ruel Reid

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid, says the teaching of civics will be reintroduced in schools.

He emphasised that national awareness is an important part of a child's development, and the teaching of civics must again occupy its rightful pride of place in schools. Addressing principals and teachers at the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) 15th Annual Education Conference, held at Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort in St Ann on Tuesday, Reid said students must be taught about their history, where they are coming from and where they intend to go.

"Our students must know their basic human rights, know about Universal Adult Suffrage and the great men and women who fought for it. We want our citizens to be proud Jamaicans," he said. Reid added that teachers must never compromise on the importance of having good values and attitudes as core principles, stressing that to do otherwise would be succumbing to "crassness, rudeness and lewdness.

"We need to get back to the good, young days when saying 'good morning', 'thank you' (and) 'please' was almost second nature. Boorishness and indecency must be relegated to the dunce benches," he said. The minister told the teachers that the conference theme, 'Effective Teaching and Learning: Bridging the Achievement Gaps', is very timely and should assist in charting a way forward.

ULTIMATEGOAL

"The ultimate goal is for our students to realise their fullest potential. We need to grab every opportunity to strengthen our craft as education practitioners. It is our responsibility to keep ourselves sharp. We need to constantly renew our methodologies and approaches," Senator Reid said. He argued that today's approaches might be largely outdated by next year, noting the manner in which students learn today "is probably more dynamic than ever before".

The minister pointed out that while there have been noticeable improvements in the percentages of students who pass mathematics, English and the sciences, there is hardly any room for complacency. Senator Reid said he has a lot of confidence in the nation's teachers and also the JTA as an organisation, and he will do everything in his power to forge meaningful partnerships.

- JIS