Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Misplaced energy around graduation frenzy

Published:Wednesday | May 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM


The silly season is upon us! No, it is not Christmas! It's called graduation, specifically at the early-childhood and primary levels of our education system.

I loathe the fact that parents whom we have not laid eyes on since they registered their children in grade one are now willing to pay 'considerable' graduation fees, for the sole purpose of posturing. These fees ensure that these very busy parents have availed themselves to sit like zombies for more than two hours, listen to motivational speakers wax poetic about their numerous achievements, watch their children fidget in their floor-length gowns with mortarboards and tassels dangling in their eyes, and to further observe them in their toe-pinching, new shoes.

This 'treat' is also witnessed by all the relatives who fly in from overseas, accent and all.




Please pardon my naÔvete, as I am yet to fathom this complexity. These are the same parents who are yet to purchase a textbook or supply their children with lunch money on a regular basis. Need I mention that their children arrive to school late every Monday morning quite filthy in Friday's unwashed uniforms, unpolished shoes and perfectly 'ungroomed' hair.

Surely, our focus cannot be about THE DAY. It MUST be about the process that began when the children entered the system and the value that was added during the child's tenure. The likely possibility is that more value could have been added if parents had supported their children's development and the school's mission.

Literally, I pray for the time when the Ministry of Education will put an end to this charade at the early-childhood and primary levels. Parents need to be educated that the monies spent on a few hours of posturing could be gainfully invested in their children's secondary education, ensuring that their children are properly nourished, that the requisite textbooks are purchased, and that their kids are suitably attired.

I suggest a clearly articulated policy document from the Ministry of Education, which would no doubt cure this malady, and I hereby offer pro bono services to assist in such.



George Headley Primary