We were all at this juncture at some point in our lives, and I recall the extreme “pressure” that I experienced to pass for my first choice. As life would have it, I passed for my second choice.
On receiving the result, all the anxiety I experienced heightened, and my heart sank, as all my best friends were going to go to their first choices. I felt as if I disappointed everyone, myself, my parents, my friends and my family members. I still remember, family members and friends telling my parents that they should seek a transfer. My parents asked me, do you want a transfer? At that moment, I said NO…firmly…I said I passed for this school for a reason, and this was where I was meant to be.
So said, so done! The best seven years, filled with memorable friendships, lessons and growth. An institution that has afforded me so many opportunities, nurtured my academic curiosity, supported me in my various extracurricular activities, an institution that trained me so well, that I was able to bring home the 1 st ever National Scholarship in my family!
The Secondary Examination Assessment (SEA), like any other exam, is challenging and can be very daunting for your children. It is important that parents recognize that their children are already facing a lot of pressure in order to pass for what our society deems a “good school”. While that desire is not a bad one, we must always remember that:
SEA is not the beginning or end of the world. Most of your children who are writing this exam are anywhere between 10 and 13 years old. They have their entire lives ahead of them to craft the lives they are desirous of living to truly be successful and make you proud.
I would love to say, it doesn’t matter what school a student passes for, they all have the same opportunities. But the reality is, this is far from the truth. Let’s imagine if all secondary schools across Trinidad and Tobago were equitably equipped, with an abundance of opportunities, adequate infrastructure and finances, essentially if all schools were equal, would you even care about which school your son/daughter passed for?
My message here is this, our society has created this prestige/non-prestige school culture and a lot of the time, it’s the parents who hold onto these ideals much more than the students themselves, because at the end of the day…most of us end up in the same university, in the same classroom, struggling the same exact way regardless of which high school we attended.
My request is simple; we all end up where we are meant to be! With just a few days left for the exam, there isn’t much more your son or daughter can study at this stage to make them miraculously exceptional at the exam, so cut them some slack, treat them to ice cream this afternoon, make their favourite meal, and let them go to sleep rather than staying up all night studying.
Reassure them of your love and support no matter what the outcome of exams and emphasise that this is not the be-all and end-all for them.
WE wish the nation’s students writing the SEA to remember: You are more than capable of accomplishing anything you could ever imagine!