Editorial

Pitching A Message To The Right Audience

Pitching A Message To The Right Audience

A couple weeks ago, we came across an article that highlighted the feature speaker at a prestigious school’s Graduation and Awards Ceremony conveying a debatable message to the impressionable young minds there. While we were lukewarm about highlighting this in an Editorial back then, the fact that lightening struck twice, as a matter of speaking, has us now obliging to our initial urges to voice our opinion.

The first school we spoke about was Naparima College, where San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello sought to reassure the youngsters that there is no need to focus only on strict academia. His point of illustration was Machel Montano, whose undeniable star power and wealth is attributed to his larger-than-life soca stardom. While we have no doubt Mr. Montano and others like him have immense talent other than mainstream academics, we are still left bewildered at why this message was conveyed then and there. This message, while truthful, was delivered to a group of students who are the products of an institution strong on academia. One of many schools that has hammered home the need for stringent studies and overachievement therein. We’re sure the parents of these young men didn’t push them to become scholars for them to aspire to become calypsonians, with all due respect. Talk about tailoring your pitch to your audience. Total misdirection in this case and for those who actually caught the message, quite depressing after years of burning the midnight oil.

And at the equally prestigious Presentation College San Fernando, The Mayor pleaded for prestige schools to be open to all. He claimed that prestige schools saw an influx of the more privileged of society, and that schools like Pres should open its doors not just the societal elite. As far as we know, the entrants to any secondary school are determined via academia, that is the SEA exam. We know of countless intellectuals from less fortunate circumstances who have passed through these institutions cum laude. If children are from an underprivileged household that cannot afford luxuries like extra classes is a totally different topic. This message was slammed by both the School Supervisor and a prominent Magistrate, and we join in admonishing it. We consider it insulting to schools like Pres’ stature.

We are by no means stating that academia is the be all and end all of education. Some of us are inclined to be doctors, lawyers, physicists or astronomers maybe. Others may possess extraordinary inclination towards music, the arts, trade or craft. The systems of these prestigious schools have definitely been working, look at the scholarships awarded every year. Why try to change that? You don’t walk into a Pizza parlour and plead to be served curry.

Web Master

November 14th, 2017

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