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My-crow-scope

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Ah received an interesting e-mail from Cheryl Phills-King, supporting an appeal letter from Dr Julian Duncan in de Searchlight: “Lab equipment needed at Grammar School”. I had already seen de letter ah few weeks ago and wasn’t surprised because three years ago, when “de Class of 1954/1955” asked de Chemistry teacher at Grammar School what could we donate, he suggested ah Distiller. Imagine de chemistry lab in de oldest secondary school in SVG, widout ah piece ah equipment to mek distilled water.{{more}}

But back to Dr Duncan. Ages before he got his Ph.D, he was my second form Science teacher, he subsequently headed off to UWI where he made it big as ah Scientist. He never really came back except foh de occasional holiday trips. But on his last trip he got ah rude awakening, he went to visit his ole Alma Mate-her and almost freaked out when he went to de Science Lab. There was no My-crow-scope and when he asked de Science Teacher foh de My-crow-scope and dem, de teacher told him none dey, none never dey and like none will never dey! Fifty years ago, we had one, it was ah novelty.

Now according to Doc Duncan’s letter, he has spent his entire professional career in de life sciences. In his strongly worded letter he explained: “laboratory classes are designed to provide students with first hand experience with concepts dealt with in the course and the opportunity to explore methods used by scientists in their discipline. Further they are designed to develop in a student, certain skills-manipulation, observation, recording (by way of drawings and diagrams, graphs, tables, narratives) drawing inferences from observed data, making measurements and determining magnification, to mention a few.”

Ah decided to investigate de story and it is hilarious. As Faith would have it, ah had to visit ah teacher at GHS and when ah was leaving ah conveniently loss me way until ah ended up in de Science Lab. Right in front ah me eyes, My-crow-scopes galore and de girls dem behind de equipment like Microbiologists looking foh Cem Stells sorry, Stem Cells. So wrapt up in dey research dat none ah dem ain’t see me yet. After dat ah ask sum-buddy at de Ministry of Education why there is no My-crow-scope at Grammar School, and Girls High School got twenty something units. Ah was told, dey don’t need dem in de syllabus, not until dey go to post-secondary level. Man ah Lab widout ah My-crow-scope is like ah Church widout ah Bible.

Like Doc Duncan, ah can’t believe dat students doing Biology and don’t know what it’s like to look thru ah Microscope, “wait till all yuh reach A-Levels” dey are told. It’s like giving ah child piano or guitar lessons and telling s/he, ‘yuh will get to play de instrument when yuh pass de Grade VIII certificate’. Ah wonder if dat is why we are not able to attract more students in de Sciences at A-level, we missing de opportunity to germinate de seeds in de kids early and open dey eyes to de sciences, yet we talking bout Education Revolution, more like Ed-decay-shun Rev-all-yuh-shun. Mind yuh de boys at Grammar School as well as de GHS girls passing de O-level Biology, well derr, dat’s what de system is all about, certification! De big difference is when de girls at GHS pass, de not only getting de Certification, but de Education as well. What ah mess, but don’t mek de ministry hear yuh say dat, we doing well.

Now ley we deal wid de other issue. Lie-Za say if she was dat science teacher whom Dr Duncan did ask foh de My-crow-scope, she would ah ask him, de fifty years yuh dey way, yuh did ever remember to send one gey we? No offence meant to de good Doctor, but is true and all ah we ole boys are guilty of turning we back pon de words ah de poem: “tis good to see the school we knew, de land of youth and dream.” It is not Guv-ah-mint dat put twenty-sumting My-crow-scopes at GHS. Never! Is GHS past students. GHS got one ah most powerful Alumni Association, branches in de USA, Canada and de UK. Dey got down to Steel Orchestra. Dey raise Funs foh de school it ain’t Fun-ny. We de ole boys of BGS could put we head in ah bag and hide. What have we done foh our school? Not ah darn ting. Dat is why, need dem or not GHS could have 20+ My-crow-scopes and BGS de brother school next door, ain’t got one, We-crow-can’t-scope.

GO ALONG, OBAMA, OUR PM WILL ASSIST YUH

Lie-Za mek me laugh over de P.M’s congratulatory message to Mr Obama, by de way she say his name is not Obam-ah but O-bam-her. And when de PM say in his message to O-bam-her dat de Guv-ah-mint and people of SVG will assist Mr O-bam-her in addressing de problems which confront de world, she asking how come he so willing to help de USA, if it will not cause ah “Collision ah de Willing”. Mr P.M. Lie-Za say yuh got “de world ah problems” right hey in SVG to handle; so stick wid de “Mud-and-Post Cold-Onion Society in dis Carry-beyond Civil-lies-say-shun. Oh before ah forget, she want ah new phrase foh de Home Coming? And wid dat ah gone again.

One Love Bassy.

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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