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Story Highlights

  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has called on parents to prioritise their children’s education over ‘bashment’ living.
  • The Minister said Jamaicans must now choose "substance over poppy show” and know and appreciate that education is substance.
  • He also called on parents to be role models for their children, and to live the exemplary, moral and disciplined life they want the children to emulate.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has called on parents to prioritise their children’s education over ‘bashment’ living, which he describes as “choosing substance over poppy show.”

Speaking at the Schoolfield Primary and Infant School’s graduation ceremony in St. Elizabeth on June 25, the Minister said Jamaicans must know and appreciate that education is substance.

“We need to put our priorities right…fathers, mothers and grandparents must assist the school with their  little bit or with their  big much, and that must come before the false hair,  the (cigarette), the rum and the other things that go toward bashment,”  Rev. Thwaites emphasised.

He also called on parents to be role models for their children, and to live the exemplary, moral and disciplined life they want the children to emulate.

Meanwhile, the Minister said that “we are looking at exam results too much in terms of who got into what school” and that the results should be used to help the young children, wherever they are, to learn and achieve a good education.

Rev. Thwaites encouraged teachers at the primary and secondary levels to critically analyse the results of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and to determine the needs of those students going on to grade 7 and those attaining grade 6 at the primary level.

“Rather than just having them going through the motion with the many books in the bag and the bashment sneakers, stop right now and let us lift up their literacy and numeracy, because those are the two essentials for whatever other subjects we do,” he said.

The Minister said Grade 7 teachers must take the necessary remedial steps to “help up” students with 50 per cent and lower grades. Also, Grade 6 teachers should apply their corrective or re-enforcement methodologies of teaching to assist their upcoming batch of Grade 6 students.

Rev. Thwaites commended Board chairman, Evon Redman; newly appointed Principal, Prim Lewis and past principals for their outstanding commitment and contribution to the school’s development.

The Minister also presented past principal, Wilbert Wallace, with a plaque of appreciation from the Board and the school community for 31 years of service to the school.

Mr. Wallace, who retired in 2007, was also lauded for continuing his relationship with the school.