Carnival is a time of revelry and undoubtedly the people’s maximum cultural expression. On the Dutch side it also falls in an important educational period to determine passage to the next level or graduation, which due to the dates chosen for this annual festival locally is pretty much unavoidable.
Nevertheless, every effort should still be made to ensure youngsters do well academically and continue to learn despite all the celebrations. It must be said, when not just the Senior but also the Teen Queen Show ends close to 4:30am on a school day, that is not very helpful.
Reports of many half-empty classrooms or worse Wednesday were reason enough for Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Silveria Jacobs to voice her concern (see related story). She once again reminded parents of their responsibility.
The event started considerably later than planned, which might have to do with the fact that the crowd had been relatively small until then. Nobody wants to see candidates perform before an empty Village, but continuing until the early morning hours is not a healthy option either.
As this involves contests decided by jury, in theory it would not be absolutely necessary to wait for spectators. Perhaps if these events started more on time people would learn to come early so they don’t miss part of the show on another occasion.
Posh Productions is in charge of the pageants and probably also laments that things couldn’t be wrapped up sooner. However, St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) too has a role to play in preventing a repeat for the future.
Next week is vacation, but until then the community as a whole must see to it that the intellectual growth of youngsters often referred to as tomorrow’s generation is not hampered because those who are supposed to know better fell short regarding their supervisory task.