Category Archives: Education

Congratulations Graduates

Its that time of year again – students graduating and moving on. Congrats to my daughter for completing her Associates in Science Degree.  She will be the first one to tell you that it is nothing more than a piece of paper.  Still it is an accomplishment and half way the journey to getting a bachelor.

She also received this plaque from her college very deserving because she is someone who never hesitates to help anyone who asks for help. She always make the time to fit others into her schedule and help them in subject she excels at and they have difficulty in.20150606_125902

She was really thrilled going by the college have someone introduce her to a student and having that person say to her “You are Tresanne, I don’t know you but I know your name from your past papers. Leaving an institution and having people know your name because what you left behind is a good thing.  One of her greatest quality is just being happy for someone when their grades improve and never trying to take credit for it.

Some people when they help others they make to be all about them. If someone has fallen into a pit and you encourage that person to climb out. Give the person credit when they are out, don’t take all the credit. You might have helped but without effort on the part of the individual he or she would remain in that pit.  The lesson here is that if you do good people will know your name without you having to brag about your success.

I am very proud that she was one of the 100 students who were selected to participate in the 2013 NYC Air Flow Subway Test.  The study was done to test the airflow through the subway system. The data collected was to help first responders better understand how airborne contaminants could travel through the system so appropriate emergency responses could be developed.

20150611_132936

That’s her in the glasses with the rest of her team. It was a rigorous exercise and they all did well.

To all 2015 Graduates whatever institution you may be graduating form walk proudly hold your heads up high and aim for new heights. You can achieve your dreams as long as you believe in your self and work towards your goals. When you have achieved your goal remember to reach back and help others.

I leave you with this quote: The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”
― Kalu Ndukwe Kalu

Home School

There has been some discussion in the news media recently on the issue of the Prime Minister and his wife choosing the option of home schooling their two children.  I honestly cannot understand why anyone should have a problem with that given the reasons they gave for making this decision.  As parents they have the right to decide what is in the best interest of their children and this should not be a topic for public debate.  Some are saying he has no faith in the public education system.  These people  need to get their facts straight; these children were never in the public education system to begin with as it is in the case of most Member of Parliaments;  their children attend prep schools.  For those who are seeking to gain political points; please I beg of you leave children out of the politics.

The Education System In Jamaica

In his recent address to the nation Minister of Education Andrew Holness voiced his concern about the under-performance in some of the nation’s non traditional high schools.  While the minister and the country as a whole would like to see some major improvement in our education system; the question is where do we start to tackle the problem?  Clearly the foundation has to begin at the early childhood and primary level. There is going to have to be collaboration between the pre-schools  and primary schools and agree as to what level children should have attained to make their entry into primary schools smoother.  Once in the primary school the real work will then have to begin to prepare these children for high school.  It is evident that some of these children are leaving primary schools ill- prepared to go on to the secondary level.  Not all primary schools are performing up to standard and this need to be addressed.  Based on the G.S.A.T. results the ministry of education should be able to identify these schools.  The ministry along with the school and the parent teacher’s association will all have to work together to bring these schools up to standard.  Parents seriously need to play a greater role in their children’s education, they cannot leave everything up to the school.  Slowly learners should be identified and placed in classes with specialized teachers trained in this area. The time has come to address the needs of these children so they do not get lost in the education system.

Motivating Students in Non Traditional High Schools to Perform Better And Honoring Students Who Do Well In C.X.C.

Old Harbour High School's Schools' Challenge Quiz team members (from second left): Rayon Young, Lloyd Taylor, Ricardo Cunningham, Leon Beckford, Kevin Kelly and Dane Warren with principal Lynton Weir and coach Sherene Walker.

 The Ministry Of Education need to include Motivational Sessions in the school curriculum which could be held at least once per month.  There are times when students just need to know that there are people who believe in them and expect them to do well.  That could serve as reason enough for them to want to do better.                                                                                                                                That said, I believe another way we motivate students is by honoring them when they do well.  Students who do exceptionally well at C.X.C. should be recognized.  This could be done perhaps in the form of a dinner in a superb setting.  Students who achieve twenty-one points and over would be selected from all the high schools across the country.  This is how the point system would go; a Grade one would be three points, Grade two-  two points and Grade three – one point.  In other words for a student to qualify he or she would have to pass at least seven subjects at Grade one.                                                                                                     The Ministry Of Education, Chamber of Commerce, Ministers of Government, Member of Parliaments and The Private Sector Organization of Jamaica can all come together and make this a possibility, not forgetting Digicel and Lime of course; both of whom I’m sure would not hesitate to support something as significant as honoring our hard working students.                                                                                                                                                                                                      The students could all be given Certificates Of Excellence, Gift Certificates, Gifts in Monetary Form and Scholarships  where they are needed.  Let’s put our money here our mouths are and honor our students

Motivating Students In Non Traditional High Schools To Perform Better (part 2)

In my first article I concluded by re-emphasizing the point that students should be  made to understand that it is not how they start out but how they finish that really matters.  Today I will touch on another important factor and that is the:  Principals and Teachers.  Principals and Teachers should feel motivated to try to encourage students in their schools to improve their academic performances.

If they are content to continue to settle for mediocre performances from their students, then nothing will change.  You cannot be running a school where in year out the academic performance is less than to be desired.  They should feel challenged to devise ways to improve students performance and take pride in seeing their students excel.               I am not trying to imply that all students will excel. However I feel if more is done to motive those who show real interest and are willing to learn, the academic performances in these schools will improve.  No offence Principals and Teachers but the quality of students you turn out is sometimes a reflection of the amount of work you put in.                    Principals need to take the job of running a successful institution more seriously.  Once you are placed at the head of an average performing institution the first job on hand is to try and turn things around.  Try to make some kind of improvement.  Because things are they way they are doesn’t mean things cannot change.                                                                    It takes vision, motivation and the burning desire to make a difference to see any real academic growth.  Heads of schools should take pride in the development of their institutions and motive students to work harder to improve academic performance.

Motivating Students In Non Traditional High Schools To Perform Better

In Jamaica the passing of the G.S.A.T. Examination is one of the defining moments in a student’s life.  It decides where he or she goes on to continue secondary education.  The students with the top grades are usually placed in the Traditional High Schools while others are placed in what we term ‘Non Traditional High Schools’  In many of these schools the performance is just average, so the moment a child is placed in one of these schools he or she is left with the feeling that they did not do well on their G.S.A.T. Exam.
This does not mean the student is a slow learner or that he or she lacks the potential to excel. Children learn at different paces; some start out brilliant and then slow down while others pick up later and continue to excel. The fact that a student did not get a ninety-five percent or upward grade does not mean that he or she cannot excel at the secondary level.
What is lacking in many of the Non Traditional High Schools is motivation. These students are placed in a school system where there is no set structure in place to motivate them. If the system is ready to give up on them, then they in turn will give up on themselves.
These students need to understand that it is not how they start but how they finish that really matters. They can do just as well as their fellow students in the Traditional High schools if they are motivated to do so.
I give you an example; my daughter was never at the top of her class in primary school, maths was her favorite subject so she always did well at maths, the other subjects not so well. When we moved to St. Kitts she attended the Washington Archibald High School. At this school there is an atmosphere of healthy competition and students are motivated to do well. Students who do well at C.X.C. are not only honored by their schools but by the Government and the Private Sector as well. After seeing fellow students graduating with eleven and more subjects,some with as much as eight distinctions, she felt motivated to excel as well and she did passing ten C.X.C. subjects, obtaining seven distinctions and three credits.  Let me therefore emphasis, students need to know; it is not how they start out but how they finish that really matters.