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MAVIS BECKLES: Exhaling after exam


MAVIS BECKLES: Exhaling after exam

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WELL, BOY, THE li’l people went and do duh thing last Tuesday at the various schools all over the island, and today I am sure dat all hands o’ dem must feel relieved.

I am relieved muhself fuh both my first grandson and his mother. Poor fella had so many setbacks and issues ovah the last three or so years wid his health but he is a very brave boy. When I went over there on Sunday tuh talk and pray wid him, he was so assertive and positive and said dat he was ready tuh take on the challenge.

The mother was very emotional when she dropped him off the morning. She sent a voice message tuh the family after and could hardly get the words out good, poor soul.

Some people doan realise how attached you are tuh ya children. Not only attached but frighten as France tuh let dem go out there in this cruel world. Ya wish ya could hold duh li’l hands all through life sometimes because you ya’self know what it is like out there.

But duh does grow up and as long as you continue tuh give dem proper guidance and teaching at home, they are going tuh make it and turn out tuh be good students and citizens. It ain’t the school duh going tuh but the home duh come from.

Duh had all kinds o’ activities lined up fuh dem after the exam and if ya see duh li’l faces light up, glad enough it over fuh the time being.

The next challenge is finding out which school duh going tuh and getting prepared to go there to start a new chapter in duh lives.

A lot o’ people does be hollering out dat duh should abolish the Common Entrance Exam but fuh all the years dat they have been talking and tearing it down, up tuh now I ain’t hear a soul come up wid another solution tuh it. Even I in my simple way have thought about it and still cahn see how they would do it. Who would be responsible fuh putting who here or there?

Tell the truth, I ain’t know how dah would work. I come along and see so many people come through this system and turn out tuh be outstanding people in society. The 11-Plus ain’t do dem nutten. Some people like tuh change up things fuh whatevah reason but up tuh now I ain’t hear nuhbody come up wid the solution tuh it, nor nuh alternative. 

I suppose all the very bright and well off children would go tuh Harrison College, Queen’s College, St Michael’s and dem sort o’ schools so. Then the bright spillovers would go tuh Combermere, Lodge, Coleridge & Parry and Alexandra. Then from duh grades during the year, as some people think should happen, the ones after dem duh would send tuh Ellerslie, St Leonard’s, Lester Vaughan and Deighton Griffith, Alleyne, Frederick Smith, Grantley Adams and so on and so forth, all the way tuh the bursaries.

Look, duh got children who doan be doing all o’ dah hot during the year leading up tuh the exams but does surprise yuh and perform real, real good under pressure. While on the other hand, the ones you thinking real bright all the way through school doan do suh well ’cause the pressure of the exams and new children and new surroundings does seem tuh get tuh dem and duh doan perform as expected.

Another thing is this, duh got some children who does go intuh a new school bright, bright, bright and drop back real bad and another set does just drop in tuh the new slot and take off like nutten ain’t happen. This ain’t the only transition duh gine got in life, ya know; duh gine have many more ahead o’ dem. The 11-Plus might be the first major one, and in another few years duh gine have tuh make more choices fuh their future. That is another big step and it gine go on so until they become adults and find a career. Dat is what life is all about.

So, until somebody come up wid the perfect solution, this is what it is. All we have tuh do is teach dem well and trust God tuh look after dem. As I said before, it ain’t the school duh going tuh, it is the home duh coming from.

• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.