Jamaica: School Daze – 7 Highlights
This is ridiculous I’m thinking,
standing at the school gate.
Yes I know that I am late,
But I left home at 6 a.m.
The metro bus broke down.
Although I’m here and devotions just began
I am being locked out until the break at 10
And miss three whole sessions
Of the morning lessons being taught.
I milled around with the others
When a teacher growls ‘line up!’
Waiting in the fidgeting queue
While they measure the tunic
Of the girl standing ahead of me
‘Young lady your uniform is
One and a half inches too short,
Stand over there with the others
Pull out your hem or go home.’
Next is a young man
Looking rather nonchalant
‘Did you take-in your pants?
Why are your pants so tight?
Remove that hat and the earring!
Where did you leave home to go to?
Looking like anything but a student.
Stand over there with the others,
We don’t want any tight pants here.’
A cellphone rang in class as I entered.
‘Everybody line up outside, Miss Lateness
go and get the Dean of Students.’
We’re going to do a search
‘All devices and other contraband
Will immediately be confiscated
You can pay $500 to get it back
And when you do, leave it at home.’
On some level I know this is extortion.
Now, its lunch time,
The biggest challenge of the day.
The canteen cannot serve
All 1500 of us students in one hour,
But we are not allowed to
Buy from the vendors outside the gate.
I buy a fruit cup from a teacher
Four grapes, six cubes of pineapple and melon
I eat my $100 lunch and find my class.
It’s the first class after lunch.
‘Put all the homework on my table.’
I walk up to her with a folder leaf
‘Where are you going with that?
You were told to do it in your note book
I’m not taking that from you!
And I don’t want any late work either.
Will the class monitor please take
These 45 composition books to my office’.
Finally, the last class for the day
I’m glad it’s almost Friday…almost
The teacher walks in, sits on his table
‘Why in hell is there so much talking?
Where are the other students for this class?’
Everybody sit down and take out a clean paper
He begins to write on the board
Things to be defined, and explained
‘This is graded work, you can go when you are finished.’
Ria – 2015
Above is a compilation from responses to the question ‘how was your day?’ Every evening my children and I gather for prep time where assignments are done and we discuss how their school day went. They do what is required but for the most part their days are disheartening. I left high school decades ago, if I had to go back today I would be expelled within a week. I’m just too old school for this new school.
Today the ability to follow and adhere to given rules is the fundamental cornerstone of the education system. Many high school graduates are functional illiterates, and the others face marginal prospects. Anything outside of the syllabus like Independent thinking, and learning along lines of interest and abilities is discouraged. Yes, many have become whatever their version of successful is and say it is because of the education that they received. They claim that education is key, but I can’t help but wonder to what trap door.
This is post is in response to the Daily Post prompt The New School