Schools island-wide will be engaged in a number of activities to highlight the theme, share Jamaica’s culture and enhance the experience of students as citizens of Jamaica.
The feature school for this year’s observance is Munro College in St. Elizabeth where the Culture Division team from the Ministry of Culture will extensively promote its Culture Passport programme that allow students free or reduced cost access to heritage sites, cultural institutions such as museums, galleries, theatres and special cultural performances.
Students who are members of the over 200 Culture Clubs operating in schools, and have a passport size photograph can walk away with Culture Passports on Jamaica Day. The process will be managed by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), managers of the Culture Club programme in schools and which also manages the Culture Passport programme on behalf of the Ministry of Culture.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, who is scheduled to participate in Jamaica Day activities, is encouraging all Jamaicans to seize the opportunity to embrace the theme for Jamaica Day and visit sites, “the same heritage we invite visitors from abroad to experience, must be so familiar to us that we become ‘tour guides’ for our own children, families and other persons”.
Minister Grange further notes that this year’s partnership with the Ministry of Education is a strategic move to streamline the working relationship between the two Ministries on a number of policy and programmatic initiatives outlined in the revised Culture Policy.
The Culture Passport programme was re-launched October 2017 and is funded by the CHASE Fund, a partnership that will see the Ministry of Culture distributing 50,000 passports between 2017 and 2019. During last year’s re-branding ceremony held at Devon House Heritage site, a number of other groups were formally included in the programme such as the National Council for Senior Citizens; the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities; the Women’s Center of Jamaica; and the Child Development Agency that has oversight for Places of Safety. Community Based Organisations and Churches are also among the institutions to benefit under the programme in the short to medium terms.
In addition to promoting the Culture Passport programme on Jamaica Day, the Ministry will continue its public education programme around Jamaica’s emerging presence in World Heritage, with the recent submission of a nomination dossier for the Sunken City of Port Royal for possible inscription to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2019.
The Ministry will also showcase information pertinent to Kingston’s designation as a UNESCO Creative Music City. There will also be a focus on the Ministry’s Economic Opportunities workshop series that seeks to provide entrepreneurial opportunities to individuals living within the Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage site and other named heritage districts.