Barbadians Need To Know Their History

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Chief Education Officer, Laurie King (FP)??

This island’s Chief Education Officer, Laurie King, believes that Barbadians need to know the high and low points of their history.

And, according to Mr. King, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development has sought to address this issue by including a Heritage Studies component in the Social Studies curriculum at the primary and junior secondary levels.

While delivering remarks today during the opening ceremony for a two-day Heritage Workshop for teachers in the main conference room of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, he said the primary school children would learn the island’s history, from the Amerindians to the Europeans and Africans.

"The secondary component includes the influence of Asian inheritance in the Caribbean. At both levels, attention is given to identifying areas of influence on Barbadian culture, as far as possible, and classroom activities are complemented with field trips," he explained.

Head of the Department of History and Philosophy, at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor Frederick Ochieng-Odhiambo, told the participants that heritage plays an important role in a person’s life, since "it is what gives a people their being – what they are, and it is what ties them together".

Professor Ochieng-Odhiambo said the workshop was critical, since it would focus on the young ones learning about the island’s heritage.

Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site last June and it is Barbados’ first World Heritage Site. It has been described as an outstanding example of British colonial architecture consisting of a well preserved old town built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

This training, which will sensitise the teachers about the outstanding universal value of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, is being hosted by the World Heritage Committee, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and the History Department of the UWI.

The series of workshops is being facilitated by Dr. Tara Inniss, Dr. Henderson Carter and Professor Pedro Welch and forms part of the public awareness campaign of the Barbados World Heritage Committee. Seminars will also be held on February 21 and 22 and February 28 and 29.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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