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Teachers have role to play in culture

John Sealy

Teachers have role to play in culture

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TEACHERS MUST show interest in the heritage of Barbados if schoolchildren are to see Crop Over as more than a wuk-up festival.

This was expressed by Keith Squires, producer of this year’s National Cultural Foundation’s Bridgetown Market during the final Let’s Talk discussion at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed last night.

The series organised by the Foundation provided a forum for stakeholders and general public to offer suggestions on a way forward for Crop-Over. Yesterday’s session dealt with the heritage expressions like Bridgetown Market, art exhibitions and literary events.

Squires said teachers were not enthusiastic about giving up their holidays to engage in heritage activities with children, citing an example of when he wanted to start a schools’ folk song competition.

“It is a mindset that we have to deal with in the schools.”

He also said in spite of the lukewarm attitude to the heritage aspects of the festival, the message should be that they can provide an avenue for economic activity.

Margaret Allman-Goddard, host of the Let’s Talk series, in a contribution from the head table, said there was interest in the heritage of Barbados from international journalists here to cover the festival.

“They just don’t want the jump up and wuk-up and if we don’t recognise that and package it [the festival] properly we would always be selling the jump-up and wuk-up.”

She said it was important to talk about the heritage of the festival and “then other people would begin to appreciate it and so would the young people”.