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New school year and a new leaf for adults

Berkeley Institute students return to school for the first day.(Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dear Sir,

All of our children would have started their new school year by this week. From preschool to college-aged, our children are energetic, smart, enthusiastic, loving and loaded with positive potential.

I have just attended the first day school for The Berkeley Institute where adults welcomed in the first-year students of the new Signature School Programme with applause; encouraging them and promising them our support for their next four years. The public school educational programmes and activities offered our students are amazing.

It has been very encouraging, over the past few months, to read in the media the growing numbers of placements that include scholarships, mentorships and apprenticeships offered and completed successfully this summer by our youth. The right path has been laid by those businesses and community entities involved. The aim should be that as the school year progresses, these examples are noted and held as examples. Parents, businesses, community organisations and other individuals in our community can continue with the necessary support that our children need to thrive.

Let this not be another school year where great intentions for our young people are forgotten by too many, and the same old negativities start to creep in — either in neglectful behaviours, in our conversations or on media blogs.

We can discontinue using our children in our political tit-for-tat games. We can show our young people that they can depend on us for experiences and opportunities that they can translate into becoming successful and contributing citizens. We can promise them that together we can de-escalate any instance that can our grow into a community problem. We can show them that we are more than willing to help prepare them for further education and employment. We can celebrate, without prejudice, their achievements. We can show more regard for developing attitudes. We can promise them that together we will eliminate any fear and frustration and they will be respected and considered first in their homeland.

We can show our children that we believe in them and trust that we can hand this island over to them without concern.

Very unfortunately we shamelessly label them as “less than” and then spread these labels among each other.

Casting aspersions on the work ethic of our youth without helping them to develop a work ethic. Turning our backs to their aspirations and showing preference for others will not help our island to prosper; nor will it help the honourable legacy of our communities to grow.

This new leaf for adults, in this new school year, is necessary so that we will not be complaining about the same things next year or ten or 20 years from now.

For every parent who happily and proudly sends their children off spic and span on the first day of school, you can proudly return years later to see them graduate — but only if you commit to the long haul. It takes nurturing. It is worth the effort.

Summon the patience. Stay involved. Communicate positively. Spend time. Set standards. Provide positive experiences. Read to and with them. Discuss consequences. Learn with them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Support the teachers and the school. Keep in mind that if you don’t pay positive and sustained attention to your child, someone else who may be without the best intentions just might.

All of the very best is deserved by all of our students for this school year and all that are to follow. We owe them our best efforts.



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Published September 15, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated September 15, 2022 at 7:55 am)

New school year and a new leaf for adults

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