Results anxiety- say no more…
Word has it that the infamous CSEC and CAPE release dates are out and as usual teens, parents and that very inquisitive aunt are on edge. But let me remind you, your results don't define you.
As a matter of fact, I am strongly of the opinion that our education system is in need of serious reform. Kudos to CXC for celebrating its 40 years of operation but CXC seems like that 40 years old virgin- unable to produce anything. Each year with the release of results, the only thing highlighted is the true disparity between the prominent/ traditional high schools and the overlooked and unpopular high schools in Jamaica. We try to paint an image of meritocracy but truly it is not so.
“Every Child Can Learn, Every Child Must Learn" is the slogan of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, but how can one guarantee true learning when schools are overcrowded and under resourced? Every child must learn yet still some communities are crime ridden to the point where the environment is no longer conducive to learning. So tell me now how can that child learn, how will that child learn?
And then here comes CXC, the measuring stick for all schools. Irrespective of their resources, they are expected to achieve the highest. Then we wonder why the average pass rate for Jamaica is so low. While we do applaud the prominent/ traditional high schools, it's high time we focus on the under-performing schools. Our view of success has caused us to be too much in awe of those who 'succeed' and too dismissive of those who fail.
So as these results draw near, let us applaud the top performers but also not be dismissive of those who fail. Your life does not end there. There is always greater ahead.
To the Ministry of Education, its perhaps time for a reform. A new standard curriculum that is inclusive but also individualistic. Let us cater for the variety of communities, schools and students of our beautiful country.
To the region, perhaps a new way of testing and a more wholesome evaluation is necessary. Albert Einstein said “Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Hey young world, the world is yours! So irrespective of these impending results, go out and conquer the world!
-- Akeelia Richards