Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Educators advocate for a change in school curriculum

Published:Monday | January 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Vinroy Harrison
Dei Rasi Freckleton, chairman of the Youth For Change and founder of Peace in May Pen.
Christine Russell-Lewin

Principal of Central High School in Clarendon, Vinroy Harrison, is of the opinion that an adjustment to the school curriculum would be the answer to solving some of Jamaica's social ills.

On Thursday, at a special Gleaner Editors' Forum, held at the Versalles Hotel to address the crime situation in the parish, he suggested that paying close attention to the social issues facing the country and including these in social studies taught in the classroom is the way to go.

He also pointed out that it was not that the students in question were bad, but rather lacking in parental guidance. He opined that too much focus is being placed on academics and not on the "total holistic person'.


Youth For Change founder Dei Rasi Freckleton shared the same belief, adding that focus should also be given to soft skills - personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.

At the same time, guidance counsellor for the Effortville Primary School, Christine Russell Lewin, is blaming the 'hidden curriculum' - the unwritten, unofficial and unintended lessons, values and perspectives that students learn in school -for many of the issues being experienced with the deviant behaviour of students.

"The child gravitates to the hidden curriculum much more than they do to math and English, so which is impacting the individual more?" she questioned.

"The schools now have what is called HFLE (Health and Family Life Education), but I don't think enough emphasis is being placed in teaching that aspect which speaks to the life skills, because the education system is still saying that they want a set amount of hours to cover the academic and the core subjects," she said.