Letters & Opinion

As Schools Reopen

By Peter Josie
By Peter Josie

FOR many young persons there are few life changing experiences to match the closing or opening of a school year. For those whose school days are over, the challenge of a new life beckons. Many will find it difficult to cope with the pressures of un-employment. New unemployed friends lurk. Soon a new entrant is added to the group sub-culture. The period of adjustment for the school leaver with few options is particularly difficult. Parents who lack contacts to get their young graduates a paying job or a scholarship to continue their studies face increased frustration. Our hearts go out to these parents and the school leaver who has his whole life ahead of him and hardly knows what’s next for him…or her.

There is even more pressure on parents who have to feed and clothe a young adult just out of school, while searching for uniforms, books and shoes for her kids returning to school. As the school year opens one must spare a thought for the little ones who are about to experience long hours away from home. In time, they will adjust and hopefully learn to love and not resent school. Some are marked to fall by the wayside as there are no supporting structures at home. Too often parents leave it entirely to teachers and the state to educate and provide for their children. Thankfully, the state (and some in the private sector) assists needy cases with scholarships.

An increasingly side issue which marks the opening of a new school year is the traffic on the island’s roads. Increasing vehicular traffic – parents and teachers rushing through early morning hours – noisy children re-connecting with friends, are par for the course. In these cyclical school opening events one ought to spare a thought for persons with no school-age children and who are forced to leave home earlier for work to beat the traffic.

A new school year also poses additional pressures on forward thinking parents who will be seeking additional help for their kids to ensure success in the Common Entrance exams. These exams have evolved into a crucial marker which for many parents will determine their children’s path to tertiary education and a higher placement in the job market. Passing the Common Entrance Exam is therefore an increasingly big deal in Saint Lucia as more and more younger parents make greater demands for the longer established schools no matter where these parents live or which secondary schools they attended.

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As hinted above the most remarkable feature of a new school year is the trust which parents without much concern, allow their children into the hands of perfect strangers. Parents entrust children into the care of the school, its teachers and its administrative head – the school principal. I have before expressed an admiration for the nation’s teachers due to the important work of helping raise and educate the next generation of citizens. One prays that more parents would appreciate and support the work of the teachers and principals and help them help their children.

Given the large number of persons in the teaching profession one is bound to come across a small minority who has inadvertently found themselves in the wrong job. Most teachers are calm and caring and put the children in their care (the classroom), first and foremost. Others have been observed to carry their personal home issues into the class shouting and lashing out at their little charges. School prayers are meant to center teachers and children alike in the day’s work. Talkative and playful child also bring the home environment into the school. These are encouraged to speak at home. Care must therefore be taken to handle these calmly and not drive them into permanent silence. One can only hope that harsh and abusive voices in classrooms continue to be a rare exception.

Many years ago, I attended a graduation ceremony at the Cave Hill campus (Barbados), of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and listened to an address by Professor Arthur Lewis (he was not yet knighted) in which he stressed the importance of quality education at primary schools. Sir Arthur must have repeated that speech (delivered early seventies) more than once in the Caribbean. No one denies the challenges which many teachers face. It is particularly difficult and frustrating when some parents pass their children onto teachers who are treated as care givers (baby sitters), and are expected to supply school materials and snacks to these children.

That cannot be right! And something must be done about it. This is clearly a topic for dialogue with a view to finding a solution. Sometimes one gets the impression that some people would avoid such a discussion at all cost. It still remains a necessary and essential dialogue if we are to progress and save the nation’s children from anger and illiteracy. Other discussions on the education system and where do we go from here are certainly on the cards as Saint Lucia welcomes another school year – September 2016.

8 Comments

  1. Peetar
    In a place where internet connections are as rare as that which can be found in the landscape of Tarzan’ s domain,I read your Hillary-ious Ode-dity? to the presidential nominee.
    Was this your Homeland Security pass to clear JFK Immigration checkpoint?
    According to reliable sources some of your buddies are posted on the No Fly list.
    Too bad Homeland Security is not equipped with Psycho dynamic Mentality Strip searching apparatus.
    And in keeping with the political meaness of the NEW YORK POST …..
    You deploy a subliminal attack on the most progressive…cohesive UNION IN AMERICA..TEAHERS.
    Much the anti labor UNION busting strategies utilized by the MEGA WEALTHY ARISTOCRATS represented by the Rag media NY Post…you stealthily pitted Parents against Teachers.
    The NY Post is Synonymous With the Rickets Star rag and its affinity in serving the domineering avarice of ARISTOCRATS.

    You are an acolyte of that decadent class..oui!

  2. Petra
    It is totally ludicrous as in INSANE that you imagine as in hallucinate your superimposition of banana cultivation skills as akin to the REQUISITE. PEDAGOGY for the developmental milestones ..standardized curricula. Etc for elementary students…
    Ole boy I understand your need to appease Homeland security for the duration of your visit and to mask its true itenary
    tO FETE LIKE A drunk disorderly TRINI IN CAIBBEAN CARNIVAL IN BROOKLYN… N’est pa?

  3. Peetar
    Here is a n education promoting theme that is relevant to elementary stude nts of the diaspora and St lucia
    Why are Jewish elementary students who live in the once Black enclaves of Crown Heights and BedStuy ……….more proactive if not keenly focused in the pursuit of rudimentary educational achievement over their endangered and diminishing black populace…..
    Peter you can use a facsimile of your VFort Elementary as a prompt.
    Your strong father negotiated with the exemplerary leader educator Headmaster Stanislaus and future depart ent of education. Math. Analyst Mr Johannes to provide you with supplemental academic tutoring.
    Jewish scools yeshivas do it
    Boys get a double dose of male parenting and male significant others in this coaching example of Vygotskys learning theory.
    The reverence for Our Divine. Creator and the inherent disciplined for education supersede. All decadent or material pleasures
    Delay of gratification must be internalized by the young learner….
    I often wonder at the time you derailed that key psychodynamic concept……
    You know …when you first for knee kated?
    You had to have a trial run……..
    Prior to that Saint Marys College semen derailment of your A Levels and consequent comfort via PATH ( mix of white rum and sweet phylylum….OUI?)
    But I bet (practice run for your masters casino at coco Dan) that you first practiced with older or experienced lassies…… Bar flies or appointment jamettesl…who cares for semantics when semen is throtling the fruit of the loom calzon…n’est pas?
    Ah but you caved in to your lusty desires for sexploitation……a trophy of macho conquest on your hyper male mantle.
    Forget about fathers investment…
    Forget about the academic ambiance and nurturance provided by Stanislaus and Johannes
    Discard these priceless coaching opportunities ……
    Very few of the youngsters you are so concerned about …….have no such access
    Yet you chose to disrobe..unsheath your probus while your victim is within the narrow 3 day corridor of HER OVULATION CYCLE##!!!#
    For a budding botanist you showed callous disregard as you probed nectar on a rate of frequency …even a humming bird would find astounding.
    And now you feel eminently qualified to speak to young learners while subliminally bashing their teachers……..
    Ole boy you make a better candidate to speak out against early pregnancy!
    But redemption is too humbling a quest for goat heads……b’day pas?

  4. Correction….Very few of current students in St. Lucia or Black AMERICA ..have access to the quality of supplemental academic tutoring you did receive as a student at VFort Elementary
    Secondly, this golden providence even the highest achievers at SMC past & present ought to envy, you derailed in frenzied Attila the Hun e Jack cool elation?

  5. Pete ole boy
    Your sordid desires for Vanessa Del Rio style romps……..yum….rumps
    Should curtail communication with or about youngsters.
    Already your masters coco Dan casino attracts lots of high rollers with their coco sec………hoping for exoctic young ponies in pay for play stalls in the mist have red light district to replace the current abbatoir
    How ironic …fresh young live flesh for sale may replace frozen steaks@ coco dan

  6. Pete
    Instead of the very risk for corrupting the fatherless or sexually confused minds of youngsters….
    Why not write for HUSTLER magazine instead.
    You are a natural well endowed porno XXXX expert..you.

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