|Member of the Board of Management of the Garrison Secondary School, Deborah Byer, presenting Cadet Damien Castillo-Marshall with his award for Good CXC Results in 2010-2011 for Technical Drawing and Electronics, English A, Integrated Science and Social Studies. He was also promoted to Cadet Under Officer (CUO) of the Garrison Secondary School. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??|
Students across the island have been urged to motivate themselves towards their school work while parents have been told to embrace their children in the pursuit of education.??????
This appeal came last Friday as Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, addressed the Speech Day and Prize-Giving ceremony at the Garrison Secondary School in Paddock Road, St. Michael.
Noting that the situation in many schools was one where teachers pursued students to learn and "to become engaged in all the benefits of quality education", Mr. Jones said: "No teacher should be pursuing a child to do their studies. The child should be pursuing the teacher to get more of the studies that they have to do.?? That’s how it has to be.??
"The shoe should be on the other foot. Students should be applying themselves that the teacher would become burdened by the demands of the students for quality education. So things like [your] school based assessment should be done way before time and teachers should not have to demand that you do this. You should be setting the targets and working along with your teachers."
Accepting that sometimes students encountered failure along the way, the Education Minister said, however, this could be as a result of study indiscipline, and to some extent, our homes, "which must take some responsibility as well, as a partner in education".
To this end, parents present at the ceremony were praised and Mr. Jones said the message they were sending to their children was that "you are important to me and I will not allow you to stand alone through your life’s journey".
For those whom he noted "allowed their children to stand alone", he stressed: "It must stop… It is not about providing just food, shelter and clothing alone, there are other attributes which come heavily from what we call in education the affective domain that these children need. It is emotional nourishment, it is psychological nourishment that they need as well. There are some people who believe that if they feed, dress and shelter the body [then] that is all."
While stating that sometimes parents planted doubts in their children’s mind as to the efficacy of the school their (children) attended, Minister Jones stressed that most children who did not wish to go to school felt that way "not because something was bad or wrong with the school but because they don’t feel as though their parents care about them going to school".
Explaining further, the former teacher said that today, there were still persons who remained "empty" because of lack of "true nourishment". He said for young people this was about love, care and the embracing of them with simple words such as ???I Love You’ "that resonate off the mind and brings a smile and a fullness of heart to many of our young people.
"We have to adjust our thinking somewhat as we reach out to our young people [and] as we share with them their concerns and ours as well," Mr. Jones concluded.