Make students’ education first

I am not sure to whom I should address the concern I have.

I am quite disappointed that my husband and I, as parents, feel the need to raise the following issue and not those who are in a position to eliminate the problem.

I have noticed that again this year, as in the past, the National Children’s Festival of the Arts and Inter Primary School’s Sport’s Day are both conflicting with the mid term exams.

The NCFA eliminations begin 12 March, which would mean a significant number of children will be missing their regularly scheduled curriculum to attend practice sessions for this fantastic national event.

Don’t get me wrong, I love these concerts!

It is imperative for our children to experience the cultural festival. The concerts are held from 21 to 24 March and in the past have run quite late, well after 9pm, and taking into account that some of these concerts are held on school nights, I find it a little inconsiderate of the organisers.

The Inter Primary School Sport Preliminaries are on the 27 and 28 March with the finals on the Friday, 30 March.

So again, students will be taken out of their classrooms from weeks before in order to practice for these events.

It is also very important to take into account that academics is not the forte of some of the students participating in these events and class work in the weeks leading up to the examination period is crucial to help them achieve good grades, and to set the studying tone for their school career. (We all know the choice is academics or nothing as the curriculum presently stands – believe me when I say you don’t even want me to get started on the curriculum!)

As if the two other things weren’t enough, the children have their mid term exams scheduled for the 19-23 March.

Obviously this should be the most important thing on the children’s and teachers’ minds and revision in the weeks leading up to this is normal practice.

I realise that many of the practices are done during break and lunch time, but even that is not fair to the children as it occasionally means them not having time to eat.

I honestly do not understand the Education Department agreeing to this scheduling, year after year.

It would seem quite apparent that they do not wish the children to succeed. How can they possibly expect the students to give their all to any one of these important events?

We have three daughters that attend Red Bay Primary School. Each year I am astounded by the fact that this has yet to be addressed. I implore those persons in a position to do so, to make a positive change and promptly.

Wendy Smith

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