Can't support Calabar's decision

Monday, September 03, 2018

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Dear Editor,

It has always been the lament of non-traditional high schools that the traditional high schools get all the best students. This is so because the traditional high schools get the students with 80 per cent and above, and the non traditional high schools get everyone else. These are students that parents and primary level school teachers work hard with, and others that are just naturally talented.

Students are often told to shine wherever they are placed, so for those who are placed at traditional high schools they are at a better advantage to do well, even exceptional, as they are placed in schools with better facilities, stronger PTA membership and more active past students associations.

Traditional high schools benefit from students that are already at a high education level and all the teachers, the school and the parents need to do is to keep this standard high. Although the students did well in their primary exit exams, they come from various socio-economic environs and are faced with different challenges.

Having had three children going through the teenage years (both sexes), as a parent I know that each child requires individual attention, and not the same type of attention either, ie what works for one does not necessarily work for the other, in terms of guidance. So, how do we as parents, teachers and schools get our children to excel as they mature?

There is no book of guidelines or rules, no easy 1, 2, 3, no set requirements. We only have to start with the foundation principles of instilling discipline, being patient, listening and being good examples for them to follow. It is because of this that I cannot support Calabar's decision to not promote boys that are performing under 60 per cent to fifth form. Where will these boys to go? To a non-traditional high school that already has the 70 per cent, 60 per cent, 50 per cent working with from grade 7?

How are these schools effectively to turn these boys around now, with such little time before they do CSEC? Why weren't these boys identified from grade 9 and a special class (or classes), with special teachers formed to work along with them to get them to the required standard of the school? It would seem to me that this noble institution (and any other school or anyone else of like mind) is giving up on our young people.

If it is that we cannot spend the time to carry through the process of training our young people to become mature adults of purpose, then we would have failed big time.

EC

Kingston 8

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