Sat | Jan 19, 2019

LETTER OF THE DAY - Extra lessons or extra money?

Published:Thursday | January 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM


The country's education system has forcibly removed me from the bars of silence to expose the fallacy of the education the nation's children are being subjected to. Too long we echo the statement "education is the key to success", unaware of the abstruse shoulders that education stands on. Yes, I agree the driving force behind success is in fact education, but in the obscurity of such events, education is being powered by money.

Therefore, handed to Jamaican students is an ultimatum: pay to receive a top-notch teaching style or suffer in the classroom. Such practices are consummated at the grass-roots level, exploiting even the youngest of students of their right to an education.

The idea of extra lessons was embraced as our children's knights in shining armour and we were elated. Understanding that some children learn at a slower pace than their counterparts, extra lessons offered them that additional time to be on par with the rest of the class and to fully understand what was being taught. After all, that is what the true meaning of school epitomises.

Extra lessons carry a small fee, which is more than acceptable as these teachers are going beyond the line of duty to ensure that the children, the nation's future, are educationally secure.

The reasoning behind extra lesson's introduction in schools, however, has been obliterated, and it is now used as a moneymaking opportunity by teachers. Parents are being informed that what is taught in extra lesson will NOT be discussed in regular class. Many parents, and, incontrovertibly, their children, are put at a disadvantage, especially those parents who are already struggling to find the school fee and are now given the task to either find even more money to pay or helplessly watch their children fall behind in the classroom.

One teacher was asked why she was trying to turn extra lessons into a compulsory class and her response was that there was not enough time to cover the topics during the regular school day. Noting that this response is from a grade-one teacher, it leaves one to question the legitimacy of such a response. How did teachers before find the time to incorporate all the lessons and garner passes without extra lessons?

Today, EXTRA lessons are merely EXTRA money classes for teachers; and this needs to be evaluated.

Tashani Durrant

38 MSQ Up Park Camp

Kingston 5