Visiting Our Jamaican Kids At Their Public School

twins at schoolThis week our host Tony took us to visit the local public school

Dave with John and Ruth Janzen another couple from Winnipeg who arrived this week to volunteer at the Resource Centre

Dave with John and Ruth Janzen another couple from Winnipeg who arrived this week to volunteer at the Resource Centre

where the majority of children we tutor at the Runaway Bay Resource Centre are students.

garbage and unfinished schoolWe saw piles of trash that hasn’t been picked up by civic employees in a long time and half-finished classrooms there is no money to complete.  grade five classThere were classes of children left unattended because their teacher was sick and there is no money to pay a substitute. school children jamaicaChildren ran to take cover in doorways when it started to rain.

Dave and Tony chat with the physed teacher and watch some boys playing soccer

Dave and Tony chat with the physed teacher and watch some boys playing soccer

Some boys were playing soccer barefoot. spelling list jamaicaThere were spelling words painted onto the walls for each grade. The lists like this one for grade ones were interesting. It included words like defecate, deity, poison and responsibilities

Chatting with the principal who kindly left a meeting to greet us

Chatting with the principal who kindly left a meeting to greet us

The principal told us he will need to divide a class of thirty-five children up among the other teachers in his building when their teacher leaves next month to have a baby. There is no money to pay her replacement.  libraryThe library and computer lab are closed because there is no money to replace lost and damaged books and no one in Runaway Bay knows how to fix the computers even if they had money to pay for repair. 

Masha is one of the girls who comes to our Resource Centre

Masha is one of the girls who comes to our Resource Centre

 Our kids were so excited to see us at their school and many came up to visit and ask us to come and see their classrooms.

JoseeAnn and Rojo two of the students I tutor in my group at the Resource Centre. They are even wearing their Resource Centre T-shirts.

JoseeAnn and Rojo two of the students I tutor in my group at the Resource Centre. They are even wearing their Resource Centre T-shirts.

Children seemed to be roaming around freely even though it wasn’t a break time.  

Ruth checks out the children's notebooks.

Ruth checks out the children’s notebooks.

In some classrooms they were copying notes off the board. We looked at their notebooks and their handwriting was beautiful.  kids copying notesI was surprised to see the full notebooks of advanced material that had been copied off the board by a number of children I tutor at the centre who I know can barely read. 

Dave and Tony chat with friendly students

Dave and Tony chat with friendly students

The teachers and students were very friendly.

map of jamaicaAll the walls outside were painted with mottos and charts and maps.

drinking fountainThere was no playground equipment and the children washed their hands and drank from these outdoor spigots. 

dave chats with the spanish teacherSpanish is the second language taught in Jamaican schools and Dave chatted with the Spanish teacher who comes in to work with each class once a week. vendors on school yardVendors sell things like candy and chips and drink boxes to the children. They used to have their shops just outside the school yard on the street but the children were  sneaking out to buy things from them and it wasn’t safe for the kids on the busy street so the vendors were invited onto the school grounds.school children with candyThe children seemed free to go and buy candy from these vendors whenever they wanted. hurricane seasonIt’s hurricane season in Jamaica and this partially erased outdoor chalkboard gave the children and teachers instructions about what to do in the event of a hurricane. cheerful classroomI admired the work many teachers had done to try to make their classrooms look bright and attractive. abigal and tonyOur host Tony Beach is obviously appreciated at the school because he has helped them out in the past with donations. 

Me and Rosemary one of our students at the Resource Centre

Me and Rosemary one of our students at the Resource Centre

It was good for us to visit the children we work with at the Resource Centre at their public school. It gave us a much better understanding of the kind of education they’ve been receiving. 

Other posts about children in Jamaica…..

A Day in the Life of the Runaway Bay Resource Centre

Mrs. Brown’s Daycare

The Remarkable Story of the Runaway Bay Resource Centre

Leave a comment

Filed under Childhood, Education, Jamaica, Travel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.