MANDEVILLE, Manchester — A motor vehicle crash along the Melrose Hill Bypass in Manchester this afternoon left at least two people nursing injuries in hospital.
Information is sketchy at this time however a representative of the fire department said that when they arrived on the scene some minutes after 4:00pm only ...more »
MUSIC teachers are in great demand in Jamaican primary schools, and music education can greatly benefit our naturally musical students. The benefits of music education in primary education are: (a) developing concentration on a task, (b) organising thought processes, (c) following instructions, and (d) developing positive social skills.
Over the last two years, the Ministry of Education has been on a campaign to have our young children exposed to music as an active subject with the help of music specialists with various levels of training. This is where the nightmare begins, because those trained and skilled professionals have encountered some serious obstacles on leaving college. Firstly, the schools lack basic resources such as musical instruments and other materials. Secondly, there is no proper music room. Thirdly, there are negative attitudes and perceptions of many co-workers and even administration on the importance of music in schools, and lastly, most of the teaching styles acquired cannot be utilised because students have no formal exposure to music.
First-time teachers of music have encountered the "culture shock" in the first week of teaching. They have to beg, borrow, and spend their own money to create and equip the music department. When enthusiastic students see the hard work of their teachers, they contribute and participate greatly in co-curricular activities such as devotions, festivals and civic functions. This kind of participation helps students to feel connected with the school community and feel a sense of accomplishment, belonging and ownership. However, this progress doesn't come without additional "nightmares". Some teachers begin to express concerns about students spending "too much time playing music". Others declare that grade four and six students should spend all their time preparing for exams instead of performing before audiences. Here are two common complaints from others: "It's too much noise"; and "Music is not a subject for children to pursue." Slowly some of the well-rounded students withdraw from musical activities, some teachers of other classes start giving extra assignments in lunch intervals when it is time for rehearsals, and administration starts sending messages that rehearsals must be done at more remote locations. These are indeed demotivating factors.
However, "music shall forever live." The music teacher must struggle to make time and find locations to have classes and rehearsals. Through the innovative music teacher, the schools benefit from medals, trophies and recognition in the eyes of the public, and with that the reputation of the school is greatly publicised, and the music teacher prevails. It is sad, however, that the musical items we see performed by our primary and secondary students have to go through such a nightmare!
Our stakeholders need to view the benefits carefully, for it is a well known fact that music enhances the holistic development of a child.
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