Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Education’s Russian roulette

 It is with a sense of hope I write this letter, praying it aids another parent who may have to face the same level of frustration in getting their toddler enrolled in a Government primary school.

The frustration started with the registration process. Imagine one has to wait for registration to open; and all the schools have different days for registration so God forbid, as a working parent, you can not get the time off, or you somehow manage to miss or forget the day for registration.

As if that is not bad enough, when one arrives at that school to complete the registration process, the greeting is as negative as they get. Why? Because before the registration is even completed, you are told of the slim possibility of your child getting accepted because the list of people who would have registered one year before their child was ready for primary school and the waiting list is as long as the Solomon Hochoy Highway.

The negative feedback via telephone during follow-up and letters was ridiculous. I believe the most stupid explanation a parent can hear is their child is not accepted into a particular school because it has the mandate from the Ministry of Education to accept pupils within their zone. Truth be told, it’s about who knows you and who you know who can hook you up with their contacts on the inside. It is the sad and harsh reality that exist in this country when Russian roulette is played with our children’s education.

One can send one’s child to a preparatory school, which is non-governmental and has attached to it a school fee, but what about those parents who cannot afford this option? However, it’s all about positioning your child for future success. The onus is on us to ensure we work with our children, encourage them, motivate them but, most of all, listen to them.

I say thumbs up to the Ministry of Education for such a fabulous job of making the curriculum so much more interesting, for supplying the children of this nation with these amazing schools and for taking their education seriously. 

Malissa Burton-Valentine

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