Jamaicans from all walks of life are being encouraged to participate in Jamaica Day 2013 activities to be observed under the theme ‘Celebrate Jamaica: We On It’. Jamaica Day, usually observed in all schools under the Ministry’s Culture in Education Programme, will be observed nationally on February 22.
“We are inviting the entire society, in your offices, in the banks in the market, wherever you are, to mount Jamaica Day activities around the theme,” said Director of Culture in the Ministry of Education, Amina Blackwood Meeks, who was speaking Thursday, February 14, at a Think Tank session hosted by the Jamaica Information Service.
Mrs. Blackwood Meeks explained that the purpose of Jamaica Day is to celebrate the achievements of the country. “It is intended to steep the students in what is means to be a citizen of Jamaica, what it means to have a day set aside when we look with eyes of approval at ourselves,” she said.
The culture director informed that all the schools are required to celebrate Jamaica Day, and are being asked to include community groups in the day’s activities.
“Whatever we do we want to make sure we involve our communities, our PTAs, our Police, our Youth Clubs, our churches,” she encouraged.
This year, the Ministry of Education will host a national Jamaica Day event to be held at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium. The event will feature an expo, put on by the Ministry of Education’s six regions, which have been asked to mount displays on their interpretation of the theme. Students will also be able to attend a gala, which will be held in the stadium.
“We want to build a generation that will be built on memories that will drive their understanding of their citizenship,” Mrs. Blackwood Meeks said.
She explained that this year’s theme, inspired by the Jamaica 50 celebrations held last year, is a continuation of the focus on national unity as was featured in an advertising campaign red during the Golden Jubilee celebrations. The advertisement featured persons emerging from different directions getting on a bus.
“They are inviting us to think about what it would be like if all Jamaicans could come together and move as one. That bus, that sub-theme for Jamaica 50, has inspired the theme for Jamaica Day 2013, and so the theme is celebrating Jamaica: I’m on it, Mrs. Blackwood Meeks informed.
Reflecting on last year’s activities, she pointed out that the theme ‘Celebrating Jamaica: Goals for Gold’ was selected because the nation was approaching its Golden Jubilee, as well as the fact that it was also an Olympic year.
She said students were also asked to examine “those goals that they would want to set for themselves and their schools and those goals that they could set for Jamaica that when achieved would deserve a gold medal.”