Saturday was hot and sunny and I had passed up an opportunity to be in the countryside, doing some Buddhist practice and chillin', to be in Camberwell with its smog, traffic and ever-present sirens. Why? Because I had helped to plan and organise the open day for the Parent Personal Development Programme. I think I made the right choice.
Despite the fact that it was the first day of the World Cup, many men and women chose to join us at Southwark Town Hall because they prioritise the education of the next generation.
Some statistics show that 70% of African Caribbean children are failing in Southwark schools. We want to know what to do about it. The PPPD will help us to gain skills to support young people to succeed and excel within the educational system.
The speakers were very articulate and erudite. They included academics Dr. Kimani Nehusi and Dr. Lez Henry, as well as Clarence Thompson, a pioneer in supplementary/complementary schools movement.
I shall be blogging about some of their key points in future, once I have typed up my notes.
Equally impressive were some of the audience members, including Mia Morris of Well Placed Consultancy and Decima Francis of the Boyhood to Manhood foundation. Decima made the following points:
1) There are two types of GCSEs and our young people are not being put forward to the A-C type GCSEs, they tend only to be put forward for the lower grades.
2) You only need five children in order to set up your own school. You have to provide teaching in English, maths and science, and after that you can provide any subject - Yoruba, Twi, Caribbean history, whatever you want.
It was very heartwarming to see so many people there who are committed to helping our young people achieve a better future and better choices.
The Parent Personal Development Programme will be offering our first course for African Caribbean parents from the end of June. To join, contact:
Pamela Hamilton (020) 7525 5504
See also: Black Success Stories, a brilliant resource for parents and teachers.
Keywords: African Caribbean, education, young people, schools, parents