Who knows the heart of a 17 yr old boy?
A boy that is not your son. your brother. a family member.
Who knows his fears. His desires. His dreams. His distractions?
Who sees the soul of a 17 yr old boy who wants to be seen.
Who asks the 17 yr old boy what he wants to be…
Who makes a world for a 17yr old boy who wants to change the world?
Reflection after a day of teaching. Kingston. Jamaica. October 1, 2014
This week we are doing registrations for learners for a CXC Mathematics, English and Reading Programme at the Institute for Social Leadership. CXC or the Caribbean Examination Council is the certifying body for Regional examinations. It is the most basic requirement for acquiring a a job and gaining admission into colleges or Universities locally.
Many students graduate from High School without any CXCs and often struggle to get some after or end up having much more limited options for employment because of this lack.
At Di Institute we thought that if we were able to provide them with an opportunity to do CXC subjects, at a minimum Maths and English we would be helping them to open opportunities for employment and further studies.
As we began registration I became more puzzled by the situation and began to question our decision to offer Maths and English or even my view that CXC provided a solution.
We have been talking to youth 14-22yrs and this is what we have been understanding;
Are we trapping youths like these in a cycle of poverty with CXC preparation and qualification for these jobs?
So as early as 16yrs old youth are prepared to go and find a job.
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What have we learned from 5 months of working with children at the ISL? There are many considerations for working with children from “inner-city” communities in Jamaica and not all “intervention models” are suitable for children. It is important to document what are the successful ways that we can work with groups of children over a long period of time and establish these as model for discussing and critiquing.
We started in April one week after the first open day. We didn’t advertise. One child came and called some others and there we were a room full of children from the lane next to us. We allowed them space to play and we began to develop a after school programme that could engage them when they came. Within the first 4 weeks we noticed there would be some social dynamics we would have to deal with; there relationship to each other, how they related to us as newcomers to their community, manners discipline and respect. This was the first time we were doing this. We took a break to reflect on some of the challenges we were having and attempted to reorganize.
What we tried to do differently
What we learned after this