Thu | Oct 1, 2020

'I should have done more for children'

Published:Saturday | June 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris

Her accomplishments are extensive and well documented, but departing president and chief executive officer of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), Kelly Tomblin, said one of her biggest regrets was not advocating more for Jamaican children.

The mother of two boys believes there needs to be more variation in the types of schools available for local children, since not every child will be academically inclined.

"There are a lot of things that I would have done differently, but I think that what stands out for me is not what I could have done here (at the JPS), but maybe being more of an advocate for children who are not traditional students. If I had it to do over again, I probably would have got more involved in that discussion," Tomblin told The Gleaner.




She argued that there is a need for a school for students who are into technology, those who are athletic, and others who are interested in the performing arts.

"Throughout the world, there are different kinds of schools for different kinds of kids," said Tomblin, pointing to Juilliard in New York, which caters to those who are interested in the performing arts, and IMG Academy in Florida, which is a school for athletes.

"Why don't we have a high-tech school, where it would be hard to get into? Why don't we have a Juilliard, where you would have to be a great performer to get into?" she asked.

Tomblin has realised that while one of her sons could be considered a traditional student, the other is not.

"I just see so many brilliant kids just like him (her son), who are not going to do well in the GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test), even if they go through the 13 extra classes and they take the test," she said.

"I was heart impacted by having two kids that are very different," added Tomblin, who explained that she has been intimately touched by the different attributes of children.

As it relates to JPS, Tomblin said her main regret is not fixing the level of bureaucracy that exists at the company.

"There are a lot of things I should have done, I think there are some things left on the table; obviously, there is some bureaucracy here that I didn't fix. I still have to sign 17 pieces of paper a day, which blows my mind," said Tomblin.