Life lessons.

71

For our nation’s children, May is a month of reckoning.  At home, SBA’s and IA’s would have already been submitted, and CSeC(Caribbean Secondary Certificates) and CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) and many other exams will be in full swing.

For those studying abroad, May will be the time when parents find out whether the investment was fully worth it; and students will fully realize that failure is not an option. Many, especially those studying in the US will celebrate their graduation, and we offer congratulations to everyone on their achievements.

Yet for others, it starts the cycle of matriculation into the careers of their choice.  Good luck to this cohort.

In Bahamas, the Perry Christie government faced an examination. It failed. Miserably. It went from a majority of 28 to 10 to a minority of 4 to 35.  The sitting prime minister failed to return his seat (that also happened to Simmonds in St Kitts-Nevis in 1995).

There are lessons here for both students and politicians.

Continuous learning is critical, and so is continuous assessment.  Students have opportunities to satisfy requirements and target their final grades through classroom activities and preparatory tests.  Those who do best are those who continuously apply themselves and honour deadlines.  Politicians similarly should do continuous assessment and learn from any misstepsthat may have occurred. In Bahamas, the lessons of three failed referenda were not learnt.

Do homework whether assigned or not.  Homework allows you to assess whether you have fully absorbed and internalized the lessons of the day. Sometimes, it is a simple revision. Other times it is an expansion of the day’s lesson to provide a more rounded and deeper understanding. Whatever it is, it allows an understanding of strengths and areas which require attention. It is these small steps that eventually determine success or failure. For students and for politicians.

Keep in mind at all times that eventually losers can win. To fail once or twice doesn’t mean that you will always lose. This is a modern twist on the old adage, to students that if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. Hubert Minnis lost several times in the Bahamas before he became Prime Minister.

Similarly, winners can eventually lose.  They do so when winning is taken for granted, and when they become supercilious. History is replete with persons like that!

Congratulations to all winners!  Stay humble and learn!