POLITICAL Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown is urging Jamaicans to access the Jamaica, Strong and Free, a Civic Education Handbook, to improve their knowledge on governance and social responsibility in the country.
The 62-page book that has seven chapters was virtually launched by the Office of the Political Ombudsman (OPO) on Thursday.
It is designed to provide a brief look at the Jamaican Constitution, and to give insight on good governance and key institutions which assist in the smooth operation of the country’s affairs.
Additionally, a summary is shared at the end of each chapter along with interactive activities to help readers with self-assessment or sharing knowledge with others.
Speaking at the launch, Parchment Brown said the handbook is an important contribution to Jamaica, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary of political independence on August 6.
“We hope this beautiful, user-friendly easy-to-handle book will inspire and equip you to be more active players and experts on Jamaica, land we love,” she said.
“This book should help us all to be more aware and active regarding what Margaret Stimmann Branson — an American scholar — reminds us of — our personal rights such as freedom of conscience, political rights such as the ability to vote and run for office, economic rights such as our freedom to join a union…” she added.
According to Political Awareness and Respect Initiative member, David Salmon the handbook will be useful for youngsters as they will gain more knowledge in order to make an impact in society.
“When we know the different institutions and how they work, then young people can engage with those institutions and provide feedback, commentary and facilitate improvement,” he said.
Yaniek Douglas, of the OPO, said the book will be welcomed by educators.
“This book seeks to condense a number of different areas of civic information and civic responsibilities that generally is held in different institutions — information that is coming from the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, Government, courts — and really inform young people in the best way possible,” she said.
The launch of the ‘Civic Education Handbook’ comes almost a year after the OPO released its Campaign Review Report of the 2020 Parliamentary Election.