LAST week Wednesday, I went to the Gros Islet Secondary School for a Reading Month activity. The children at the assembly were well behaved for the most part. It saddens me, though, what I witnessed in that afternoon. Sadly, it was not the first time that I had seen the Gros Islet bus drivers refusing to pick up these school children. There is need for intervention.
I can imagine students getting home late and giving this as an excuse. Parents, you can believe them. The problem is real. Of course, it will be a case of Peter paying for Paul.
I am sitting on the bus, a bit reluctant to ask the driver for an explanation as I had done on a few occasions before. I did not have long to wait as the driver began to divulge to the passenger next to him. The driver speaks of looking into his rearview mirror and seeing the children “pulling tongue”. “They curse. They misbehave too damn much.” Sémanmijòdijou.
I am sure that this is not isolated to Gros Islet Secondary but for some reason the situation is not as severe for schools like SDA Academy or Castries Comprehensive which are along the same route.
The Minster for Education is making the rounds. I do not know if she has visited the Gros Islet Secondary but, Dear Minister, if that issue has not come to your attention, please, there is need for intervention.
A lot of us believe that our unruly children are a “sign of the times” and we have resigned ourselves from doing anything to help them but they are the creatures of our creation. They did not just come to be. Many of us do not know how to control our sexual urges and the cycle of poverty forces many women into transactional sex engagements.
While a man may deny that a child is his, a mother does not have that “privilege”. A lot of fathers are absent from their children’s lives. All we are doing is planting seeds but not giving the seedlings what they need to grow into a matured, well-developed plant. The nation suffers in the end. Can we consider having parenting classes in schools? Just a thought. The best place to learn to be a parent, I suppose, is in the home.
In the meantime, our bus drivers are also not picking up some of the construction workers from hotels in the north. I am told that a lot of them do not pay the drivers when they get to town. What a generation to live in! I think the time has come for bus drivers to hire conductors but in the meantime the parents, ministry officials, the teaching faculty of the Gros Islet Secondary and the students’ council need to sit down to iron out this unfavourable issue.