No need for mandatory Spanish, agriculture in schools — education minister

Monday, June 27, 2016

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Education, Senator Ruel Reid, has said there is no need for Spanish and agriculture to be mandatory in schools.
Speaking to reporters and editors at the Jamaica Observer today, Reid said because of how the secondary school system is structured, no insistence can be made for a subject to be mandatory beyond grade nine.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced recently that he wanted Jamaica to make Spanish the official second language of the country. He also said Jamaica should be moving towards making the language compulsory in schools.
Meanwhile, Opposition spokesman on Agriculture Dr Dayton Campbell recently expressed concern about the number of young people involved in agriculture, positing that agriculture should be a mandatory subject in schools up to the CSEC level.
However, the education minister does not share this view.
“That doesn’t happen,” Reid said. “So I don’t see that we need to go there, everybody don’t need to be a specialist in agriculture.”
He also reasoned that, like religious education, Spanish is done at the lower level to ensure students have a foundation in the subject area.
“We all do religious education, we all did Spanish at the lower level and then you can decide,” he said. “So I think that’s fine…”

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