Thursday, 27 September 2012

Top Mid-Week Talkers: Educating The Messes


Our Schools Littered with Abused Minds and Bodies

In the past days and weeks we have fallen into a space of utter cultural shock and rage over the emergence of  rampant Rape and Molestation in the society, yet I find myself skipping the reports of such events and omitting to read the Pubic opinions and commentary due to the mere fact that we have seen this type of "Emotive Journalism" and  subsequent "Knee Jerk" reactions time and time again.

The Issue that was "Knee Jerkier" of the moment before we got to Sexual Assault, Destruction of family values and norms (added fuel to the fire by conservative Christians) was the dismal outcome of Grades for students sitting the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) and to a lesser extent the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) both critical stepping ladders  in the formal education system. We heard countless debates about "Who to Blame" and "Who not to Blame", we watched numerous interviews and current affairs programs dissecting the issue with Professionals and the incompetent alike boasting of their ideas and successes in the field of education, a month later: "The Jerk has settled", the issue has gone absolutely silent on lips and airwaves alike, while a few dedicated individuals work behind the scenes ensuring better for our youth.  

These unfortunate events of gruesome sexual assault (especially on our children) have couldn't have come at a more impeccable time, as the subject of "Psychology" within the broader discussion of Education seemed marginalized, possibly due to the fact that Jamaicans and Blacks as race have a problem with Identifying, Relating and seeking treatment for "Mental Illness".  As a Mental Health America research found, that "63 percent of African Americans believe that depression is a personal weakness, this is significantly higher than the overall survey average of 54 percent."

Many speak of Education as though its a 1,2,3... process without any outer factors affecting the process of learning, completely shutting out Socio-economic backgrounds, unstable family structure, character issues, emotional state, etc. making the any failures completely the students fault; this is where society has failed our Children, miserably. The closest we have come to discovering this flaw is a few media reports on "Disabled" students access to regular institutions and their difficulties faced in the normal school environment which mainly focused on infrastructural problems not the "Mental or Emotion" capacity of the disabled students.

For 5 days a week a child (teenagers included) sits in front of a teacher with the most depressed, awkward smile or angry look on his or her face, and everyday that child is passed and ignored, maybe they act-out violently one day or breaks down into tears, sending off alarms but what about the those constantly exhibiting these "Bad Behaviours" and are labeled "Trouble Makers" or "Bullies", they either ignored or treated as juvenile delinquents.

Sure there are Guidance Councillors and Church leaders who end up being one in the same, yet we still see the inability to Identify Emotional distress because of a set premise to only go so deep and not much further with emotional issues unless its visibly suicidal. The Belt buckler: Homosexuality is the "He who shan't be named" issue and the ultimate case for the Guidance Councillor, not many of these apocalyptic cases come before a Councillor as the Gays and perceived Homo's of the Jamaican school system seek shelter in the shadows of their Heterosexual persona. The question isn't whether or not they are bullied but How frequent the Bullying is? 

So, in a countless ways we can assess that this problem isn't one we can possibly get rid off, as Learning Process will crumble and implode, leaving us to wonder, why such Low Maths grades?

Those who fear that Family values and norms will collapse under the pressure of secularism and the likes must first deal with the fear that all of society may fall into oblivion (new favourite word) before they have the privileged to die naturally, granted that none of the "Trouble makers" or "Bullies" in school that fell through the crack and turned to Guns and drugs don't get to them first.

The state of the nation is frankly the state of our Children's Minds, the future is dependent on the those minds being developed and allowing the Creative Juices and Scientific Knowledge to be unleashed into the society to break us from the bond of Oblivion.