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LETTER OF THE DAY - Do away with pricey kiddy 'graduations'

Published:Saturday | May 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM


I used to live on a road in Kingston on which two prep schools are located. When it was time for graduation, it was disturbing to see some of the little girls in their pretty white dresses only needing a veil or train to look like a bride.

The scenes were no different in some of the basic schools in and around the community where I attend church. My heart ached when I see the fabulous hairdos and hair extensions that these little six-year-olds have been burdened with.

It took me back to my own childhood when I could hardly sit long enough to have my hair 'chiney-bumped' after it was shampooed. Many of the prep-, primary-, and basic-school children even have to suffer the discomfort of wearing long, hot gowns and caps and sitting or standing until they become restless.

Some children even fall asleep before they actually go up to receive their certificates and prizes, succumbing to their distress. The only people happy at this point are the teachers, parents, and well-wishers.

expensive exercises

Let us turn our attention to the cost of these graduations: dresses or gowns of $4,000; hairdos, including cost of weaves, $3,000; shoes $2,000; school costs of $5,000. Under these circumstances, parents are paying up to $14,000 for graduating one child from any one of the schools mentioned earlier. Some of these same parents are the ones who refuse to pay school fees during the year, leaving a deficit behind.

Who is to blame for this nonsense? Everyone except the children. Principals and parent-teacher associations should take a stand and let children graduate in their school uniforms. In fact, the word 'graduation' should not even been used to define this exercise; it should merely be called 'a school-leaving exercise'.

Let us get real and put our priorities in the right places.