Happy that boys are excelling too
The results are out! Yes, congratulations are in order for all the children who performed well in the GSAT examinations and are now headed to their high schools of their choice. Of course, extra-special big up goes out to my favourite girl in the entire world, my beautiful, brilliant and talented granddaughter, Rejalla, who got excellent scores, and is now headed to the Convent of Mercy [Alpha] Academy.
As we celebrate the success of those whose results are admirable, let's also encourage and commiserate with those who fell below the mark. They need to know that they are still loved and valued. They need to be reminded that they still have limitless potential to excel.
I'm particularly pleased to read reports that suggest that the performance of boys has improved significantly this year. That's a good sign. Maybe it's a stretch because I'm an eternal optimist, but I'm hoping this improved performance among our boys will translate to us having more boys completing high school and going on to university.
I'm also hoping this positive trend might eventually lead to us having fewer young men starting each morning sitting on a sidewalk somewhere in the inner city with a plastic cup of rum, then spending the rest of the day on 'di endz' rubbing out weed and 'grabba' in the palm of their hands and ranting incessantly about inane nonsense.
Who to tell? Maybe this trend could also lead to us having more men in the education system as teachers. We certainly could do with more men in the high school classrooms not just to hold down pickney and barber dem, but also to mentor young males and teach them by example what it means to be a good man. Unuh nuh agree?
In fact, I think Jamaica needs to be much more innovative about how the entire secondary education curriculum is developed and delivered. I know I owe my success as a creative artiste to the nurturing and encouraging performing arts atmosphere that was a feature of my high school experience at Excelsior.
Now, can you imagine a high school where arts aren't relegated to the margins as recreational endeavour, but form part of the core curriculum? I can. That's why I'm partnering with a visionary educator and her 'New Approach' to start a full-time performing arts high school in Jamaica soon, soon! More on that exciting news later!