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Jamaican Basic School Curriculum to be Introduced in Hartford

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A high level delegation from the Hartford City Council and public school system in Hartford, Connecticut is to arrive in Jamaica within the next three months to have discussions with Education and Youth Minister, Maxine Henry-Wilson, with a view of incorporating Jamaica’s basic school curriculum into their public school system.

According to Jamaican-born Hartford City Councilwoman Veronica Airey-Wilson, who will be leading the delegation, “as part of the reconfiguration of the public schools system in Hartford, we have sought to look at different models, and one of the models is the basic school system in Jamaica.”

Addressing the Mico College Alumni Association annual fundraising scholarship dinner and dance, at the Sheraton-Hartford Hotel, on Saturday, June 9, Councilwoman Airey-Wilson said “We believe that the basic school system in Jamaica is one that is worthy of patterning.” The purpose of the visit is to have the delegation see on a first hand basis, how the basic school system is operated in Jamaica.

Mrs. Airey-Wilson said it is the hope of the Hartford City Council to have the Jamaica model basic school system introduced in the Hartford public school systems on a phase basis commencing in 2008, as there is an emphasis being placed on pre-school education at the state and federal level.

Councilwoman Airey-Wilson pointed out that Hartford has the third largest population of Caribbean nationals residing in Connecticut, and of this amount there are over 50,000 Jamaicans who have made Hartford their home. With the introduction of the basic school curriculum this will help to bridge some of the cultural differences within our public school system, Mrs. Airey-Wilson said.

In his remarks, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Professor Gordon Shirley said it is gratifying to note that the members of the Mico Alumni who have been the beneficiaries of one of the most respected teaching institutions in Jamaica have chosen to give back of their talents and resources to this venerable institution.

Professor Shirley added “Your active involvement in your Alma mater, and by extension Jamaica, is even more significant in light of the Government’s commitment to make strategic engagement with the Diaspora one of its foremost policy objectives.”

In her remarks, President of the Mico Alumni Association Connecticut Chapter, Ms. Yvonne King, announced that the chapter had awarded 15 scholarships to students who have excelled from their high schools and are looking forward to entering various colleges. These scholarships she said will no doubt help to alleviate the financial burdens that they will be faced with.

Mariama Perry, student of Suffield Academy was awarded the 2007 Presidential scholarship. She will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in September where she will major in biology.

Among those in attendance were Connecticut’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, Hartford City Councilman Kenneth Kennedy, President of the West Indies Social Club Doreth Forrester, and Hyacinth Spence, President of the Mico Alumni New York Chapter.


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