Despite students of the 170-year-old St. Rose’s High School in Georgetown, Guyana continue to excel in their academic pursuits, headmistress of three years, Mrs. Paula Hamilton, said moral values are seriously lacking in the school, and are calling on parents to play a greater role, so that students remain disciplined in the schoolhouse.
“If parents become more involved, and we get adults onboard with us, then children would get back to the days of high standards of behavior, and moral values, that would guide them to a richer way of learning,” said Hamilton.
A former student of St. Rose’s herself, and passionate educator, Hamilton, said teachers have tried their best to inspire students, “but we need more parent involvement” in order for moral values to return to the religious institution.
The headmistress made these comments exclusively to Caribbean Life at her New York Alma Mater’s recent Annual Awards Gala, and to celebrate the school’s 170th anniversary at Russo’s On The Bay in Queens, where Minister of Public Communication, Cathy Hughes, who serves on the board of directors of St. Rose’s was honored.
Hamilton applauded Minister Hughes, an alumnus, as well as overseas alumni associations in New York and Toronto, for the outstanding support to improve the academic lives of students, but noted, students, must maintain not only high level of academics, but high standards, and attitudes to retain the esteem, required of them.
In her push for help in this regard, Hamilton, suggests that Minister Hughes use her influence to encourage professionals to make presentations on the topic of moral values and discipline in the schoolhouse.
“We continue to provide good programming through our teachers, however, the invention of social media has grabbed hold of students, who, are not using television, Facebook and other media, to their advantage, but more to their disadvantage,” said Hamilton.
She called St. Rose’s, started by six nuns and two postulants from the Ursuline Convent in Athlone, Ireland in 1847, a noble institution, with the motto — “Serviam – I will serve.”
As such, students must live up to the school’s history, be caring, respectful of persons around them, and have the ability to help in every way possible, to create an environment of caring people.
The educator, who brings a wealth of experience to her post after serving 21 years as a teacher, said it is time for children to get back to the days of values.
“I find that good upbringing has become a thing of the past. It was from religious organizations that children developed firm disciplined. This is what we have to get back to.”
“I think after a student quality to attend such a prestigious school, that student must work to uphold that level of discipline, and must stay focused, because attending a school like St. Rose’s means you have natural ability.”
Hamilton — whose daughter Elisa Hamilton was the region’s top 2014 Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) student — said support from various organizations, as well as parents helping to get students involved in extra-curricular activities, where there is a short-fall in school, or helping them to becoming members of clubs outside of school, would keep them grounded.
“The support is there, teachers do care, and once teachers see that children are making progress, they (teachers) make sure those children are supported in their efforts, to learn, even though many may face challenges,” said Hamilton, adding that the common goal among the education staff is to make sure students are of real value to themselves, society, and the world at large.
“We can do it because we get full support from the board of directors and overseas alumni associations,” she noted.