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We want Marley lessons!

Educators say history of reggae icon should be taught in schools

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, February 11, 2014    

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EDUCATORS from several Corporate Area schools have called for the history of reggae icon Bob Marley to be taught in schools as part of efforts to educate children about their culture.

"We are in a time where other cultures are creeping in so it is important to hold on to what is ours," Andrew Rowe, principal of Dupont Primary, told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday.

Rowe was one of several; school administrators who took their students on a tour of Bob Marley Museum and the Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston on Thursday, Marley's birthday, as part of activities to mark Reggae Month.

Similar sentiments were shared by Joan Hudson, principal of JEBB Memorial Basic School, and Oshane Brown who teaches music at Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High.

"I think this is something that should be done. It is important as it will help to educate children about not only their history, but parts of their culture," explained Hudson.

"Knowing about your past is essential to knowing where you are going," added Brown, noting that he was concerned that not many schoolchildren were aware of the work of the reggae icon.

For Marvin Walters, dean of discipline at Praise Tabernacle Christian Academy, adding Marley lessons to the school curriculum "would be a bold, wise move".

"The history of these people should be maintained and passed on to other generation and schools, churches and other institutions like those are the perfect vehicles to do that," he shared.

Birthwright Forskin, who teaches at Holy Trinity Early Childhood Institution that operates from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, was also in support of the call.

"I do support the idea for history and work of Bob Marley to be taught in school as it is an important way to educate the children about their culture," she told the Observer.

She described the tour of the museum and studio as a "wonderful experience for the children" she accompanied there.

"...They were given an opportunity to do a recording at the Tuff Gong studio; it was truly an experience," an excited Forskin shared.

Lorna Wainwright, facilities and maintenance manager for both the Bob Marley Museum and Tuff Gong studio, said more than 200 students visited the entities on Thursday.

Marley died in 1981 from cancer. However, his music continues to inspire people across the globe more than three decades on.

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