Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter
THE PHILOSOPHIES and opinions of Jamaica's first national hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, are to be introduced in schools for the first time at the September start of the new academic year.
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites on Tuesday answered perennial calls for the teachings of Garvey to be drafted in the curricula at the primary and secondary levels.
In a statement to Parliament, Thwaites said material on Garvey would be documented in two books to be introduced in schools.
Thwaites indicated that the move to teach the philosophies of Garvey in schools would coincide with Jamaica's 50th year of Independence.
The education minister also disclosed that the teaching of civics would be reintroduced in the classrooms in September.
Thwaites later told The Gleaner that he would approach prominent Garvey scholar Professor Rupert Lewis and former government minister and political historian Arnold Bertram to prepare the texts.
Lewis told The Gleaner that he has been agitating for the philosophies of Garvey to be part of the school curricula since the 1960s.
"We are now in a position to take the Government seriously because the resources for the teaching are in place," he said.
He noted that research material on Garvey was accessible through the multimedia information database at Liberty Hall in Kingston.
Additionally, he said Professor Robert Hill was a key resource person with his 11-volume documentation of the Garvey movement.
"We are in a good position now. Once the Government takes that policy decision and puts in place the necessary funding to prepare that material, we can definitely pursue that policy agenda.
"The 50th anniversary is a suitable time for such a legacy project."