Fri | Mar 23, 2018

National pride a compulsory subject for children

Published:Monday | February 13, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Lieutenant Corporal Rohan Wilson and students (from left) Shannie Walker, Simoneique Peterkin, Amoy Taylor and Antonique Dixon, salute the flag at the St George’s Girls’ Primary and Infant School inaugural flag-raising ceremony at the school on Duke Street in Kingston last Monday.

At a time when methods of upbringing for the nation's children are under the microscope, given the constant social disorder, stakeholders in the religious and educational sectors are leaning towards instilling national pride in the young.

"Patriotism, coupled with national pride, is what we want our girls to embody; and our national flag, so rich with the history of our success and culture, best symbolises this," said Valerie Brown, principal of St George's Girls' Primary and Infant School, at the institution's inaugural flag-raising ceremony at the school grounds last Monday.

Brown took over the reins as principal of the only all-girls primary institution in the country in October last year.

Coinciding with the beginning of Reggae and Black History Month, the national flag will remain in position throughout the school year, lowered during holidays and hoisted at the start of the new term.

The Reverend Robert Thompson, suffragan bishop of Kingston, who offered prayer at the gathering, told The Gleaner: "Where the country is going, we hardly have pride in ourselves, hence we become very destructive because we project the lack of respect for ourselves unto others."




He added: "Raising the flag in a school context brings attention to the pride that we should have not only in ourselves but in our nation. The flag symbolises who we are as a people, and Jamaica needs now more than ever to reaffirm itself in terms of its origin and life within the nation."

Weighing in on the significance of the occasion, Head Girl Ashley Allison expressed her wish for the simple gesture to be duplicated in more schools.

She stated: "If we respect the national symbols, we will respect our country and in turn respect others, which will lead to a peaceful society."

- S. B.