Regional

Bartlett calls for review of education system

Thursday, July 13, 2017

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Noting that the local school curriculum is not the powerful weapon in the crime- fighting arsenal it ought to be, Member of Parliament for St James East Central, Edmund Bartlett, is calling for a review of the education system.

“I say perhaps this gives cause for some study. Perhaps our sociologists and our education scientists may want to seriously look at this and to examine whether or not there may be a role for reviewing the content of our education to create narratives and perhaps new literature to guide how we think and how we act, and define the behaviour of our people in this country,” Bartlett, who is also tourism minister, expressed.

“I make reference to our situation here in Jamaica today, and the fact that we have become a far more intolerant people than we ever were, where we seem to be 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 measures in trying to find some of those painful remedies to deal with our crime problem.”

Bartlett argued that education is a disappointment if it does not train people to maintain social order.

“And so if education does not inure to social order and maintain social control and enable stability in the communities, then education has failed,” Bartlett said.

“Education, if it is that powerful weapon of which we speak, must have its transformative impact on the lives of countries and people, and therefore the content of education must be that guide for people — how to live, how to avoid conflicts, how to recognise differences, and how to separate similarities.”

He also articulated the need for learning to spur wealth creation.

“Education must then be the tool that transforms ideas into material value that has economic worth that enables job creation and wealth creation and prosperity.”

Bartlett was speaking at the St James East Central Education Council's 20th Annual GSAT Awards function at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James on Sunday.

Nearly 100 students from the constituency were presented with scholarships by Bartlett during the function.

“I want to continue this role because, for me, it is the most fulfilling of the 37 years that I have been involved in politics,” Bartlett told the gathering.

— Horace Hines

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