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Use education for transformation - Bartlett

Published:Monday | July 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMClaudia Gardner
Edmund Bartlett


Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica may have to look seriously at making drastic changes to of its school curriculum if it does not want the next generation to embrace a non-violent mindset.

Bartlett, the member of parliament for East Central St James, was speaking at the constituency's Education Council's 20th Annual GSAT Awards function at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Sunday.

"Education must be the tool that transforms ideas into material value, value that enables job creation and wealth creation and prosperity. But education must do something else. Education must define the way in which we deal with conflict resolution. And so, if education does not enable social order, maintain social control, and enable stability within communities, then education has failed," said Bartlett.

"And I make reference to our situation in Jamaica today, the fact that we have become a far less tolerant people than we were. We are seemingly resolving our differences in a terminal way, using lethal weapons at every step of the way. And our education, therefore, must come into question, too, as we seek to deal with curative methods and even try to find some of the most painful remedies to deal with our crime problem."




Bartlett suggested that studies be conducted by researchers to ascertain the correlation between educational content and undesirable behaviour among some members of the population.

"It is perhaps time for us to examine the content of our education and to ask the question whether or not we aren't creating a crass and angry and mistrustful people, rather than a gentler and a kinder and a more understanding people," said the tourism minister.

"Perhaps I should say this gives rise for some study. Perhaps our sociologists and our education scientists may want to seriously look at this and to examine whether or not there isn't a role for the review of the content of our education to create new narratives, and perhaps new literature that guides how we think and how we act, and define how we behave as a people in this country."

More than 90 students from the East Central St James constituency were presented with scholarships by Bartlett on Sunday. Sectional awards were also presented to the John Rollins Success Primary, which emerged as the top school; and Johns Hall All-Age for being the most improved school.