After decades of absence as a stand-alone subject in the education system and after much public pressure for its return, a bold author, Joanne Simpson has answered the call with her new book, NEW VISION CIVICS.
This civics book she says is a composite of her numerous works, all guided by her mission to educate the Jamaican people, and lifting theìr consciousness towards a common purpose.
In this book, Simpson said she made every effort to provide a track to excellence for our youth, to prepare them to be more participatory in the affairs of the country through various routes such as voluntarism and mentorship, so as to be empowered to take the baton into the future.
Many Jamaicans cannot find a fit in the affairs of the country, she says. This books helps them to develop their space to become active participants, with the prescribed values and attitudes, and even the skills set necessary for the workplace.
The book is beautifully illustrated, and expansive in its coverage of topics, which makes it a must-have hand book for all students, teachers and every Jamaican alike.
The civics book has been recommended by the Ministry of Education (MOE) as a civics textbook for students of grades 7-9, a resource book for students of history, social science and culture, as well as for teachers in training at the tertiary level.
Through her repertoire of books developed over the past 21 years, Simpson has made an indelible inroad into the book industry as an author and publisher of substance.
She is satisfied that her books have been widely endorsed both nationally and internationally, fulfilling her mission to document the important history of Jamaica, and to simplify for everyday Jamaicans.
Several of her works have become collectors’ items attributable to her keen attention to creating aesthetically pleasing and high quality publications, achieved through writing simply and purposely, and with more than a fair share of entertainment.
She said, “The New Vision Civics publication took several years to conceptualize and complete with some guidance by officers of the Ministry.
“It is loaded with important facts about public administration, in context of our history and our national goals and objective, and our place in global affairs. This is a book that Jamaicans, especially those in the Diaspora, would be proud to have and to contribute to our students.”
“This book teaches responsible citizenship, rights and privileges, and the application of same in the context of the national interest. I have no doubt that people would have developed a more cooperative stance in the fight against the Covid-19 Pandemic, if they understood that their individual rights did not take precedence over their collective rights.”
New Vision Civics is interactive, and inspires critical thinking that enables readers to ask important questions from an informed perspective and be in a better position to provide and become part of the solutions.
Civics is Stategic Planning
“Understanding civics is critical to moving this country forward. It is timely and strategic and should be given the importance it deserves,” says the author.
Simpson launched into the business of publishing in 1999 with the satirical, Only in Jamaica, which found its way as point of interest in the Cabinet, the Church, verandas, bars and into the hands of the common man.
Her seminal work, The Jamaican Woman: A Celebration, a biographical tribute to outstanding Jamaican women, was done specifically to provide role models for our young women, and o foster greater respect for them in the society.
The Jamaican Woman generated local and international recognition, and were among others that found their way to the bookshelves of Barnes and Noble, the leading bookstore in North America. The rest is history.
Simpson says, it seems like a lifetime completing this important repertoire of books which she has labeled, “My Legacy Books.” Speaking candidly, she says, “This is my contribution to my country.”
“I have been in production mode for a very long time, making untold sacrifices. It is time that the appropriate machinery, such as the Ministry of Education and stakeholders in the education system recognise the value of local authors and publishers, make that paradigm shift away from the heavy importation of literature for our students and present a more balanced offering.”
Simpson continues, ” We must move expeditiously to align our literature to our national aspirations, teaching our history and other courses objectively and be more selective in the choice and policing of books for our students.”
She continues, “Bookstores and distributors should also join the movement and understand the merit of taking our books from the bottom shelves as the quality of our books in many instances, far surpass the quality of imported books they have in pride of place positions.”
“Placement helps in positioning our books, as it gives or detracts from the value of the books. Local authors are perfectly capable and some have risen to the call of producing world-class publications.”
“The education system is an important pillar of our development. It does not stand alone outside of the context of what we want to achieve as a people. Therefore I ask, how do you feed our students a diet of imported literature in our developing context? The skills are here. We need a meeting of the players to work together to utilise our skills in the nation’s interest,” says Simpson.