At least 30 more teachers are to be recruited into a self-esteem building programme in schools in Barbados by March next year.
Under the Mabalozi Programme, teachers are trained to be ambassadors for the Commission for Pan African Affairs, in its quest to build self-esteem in young people of African heritage.
Director of the commission, Dr. Deryck Murray told Barbados TODAY that 45 teachers were already trained.
“We are at the stage where we are now preparing the printed material so that everybody understands the programme and the guidelines to running the programme,” said Murray.
“The commission is setting aside a certain amount of funds, to fund programmes in the schools, that are requested by each teacher who is a part of the programme.”
He dislcosed that additional literature was also being sourced because the teachers need to be replenished with material.
The Pan African Commission leader also noted that his agency was at the same time working with the principals and the ministry of education so that everybody was on the same page to continue to push the programme.
“The lack of self-esteem among black people was one of the concerns of the commission and we need to build self esteem from as young as two years old,” insisted Murray.
Crux of the matter
“So we see this as a problem that affects everything from our abilities to be inventive, to be original, to have self-respect, to have respect for others, for social cohesion to fight violence among youth. We see it as the crux to a myriad of problems that we are encountering.”
He suggested that this was why the commission was putting so many resources into the Mabalozi Programme.
“The real heart of the programme, though, is to get teachers to build sensitivity and awareness,” submitted the Pan Africanist.
He said believed it is important for the teachers to have that awareness of the things that would “kill the self esteem of young black children”, and once they are aware they can avoid many negative perceptions such as having a big nose, “picky hair” or being “too black” (EJ)