Monday, October 15, 2007
When one looks back at school in Jamaica, you think of little boys in their Khaki pants and little girls with their crisp, pleated, skirts or jumpers. They were students of different ethnicity's and backgrounds, but what made the relationship between the students in my school special was that we were: “out of many one student.” Or what they say in Jamaica: “Out of many one people,” so that mind-set in my school between teachers and students, made coming to school and learning more beneficial.
We started the day with morning prayers. This is not and option but a mandatory part of the day. We then chose someone to recite a verse from the bible. In basic school (elementary), you spent your time trying to avoid getting chosen to write on the black board, (especially if you could not write well).
I remember learning to write, "join-up" (cursive writing) and how the teacher rapped my hand with the ruler because i didn't like to connect my "d's". Recess of course was fun time for us at school. We would play ring games, like "brown girl in the ring," "Puncienella likkle fella." "stucky ketchy""mother may I" "Capture the base," and many more.
There were also a lot of hand games, "Miss Mary Mack," was one. I like to play the jump rope games too. We had a hot lunch line (some schools didn't) and we would go up and get our tray. High School (typically) which is usually 4 years in the States, seemed longer in Jamaica.
A school child around ten years of age, would start 1st form (traditional in the British Educational System) and complete school at around age 16 with 5th Form. If you were smart you would go on to 6th Form (usually the Prefects in the School).
I had many happy days in School in Jamaica. Many wonderful memories. I think many kids in Jamaica miss out on these good times.