By Sheldon Bramble

Vincentians are well aware of the unhealthy pedestals on which we have been putting some of our schools in the capital Kingstown for decades now.

While there are qualified and talented teachers serving throughout SVG as well as intelligent and highly achieving students, there is still a propagation of this discriminatory attitude with attached stigmas and stereotypes in correlation with institutions.

One of the areas in Vincentian society where we see a play out of the resulting very unhealthy attitudes stemming from this, is in the behaviour of many female public servants in Kingstown. This is playing out especially in the workplaces and government institutions. It has been a kind of psychosis in Vincentian society even from our colonial times. This attitude is even being modelled and taught to other women as a healthy positive want to behave through example.

One does not need to do much around Kingstown to experience the presence of some Vincentian women who talk down to clients and customers seeking public services. At times this is done as if they are not intelligent enough to know what the ins and outs of the service they are rendering involves. If you are spoken to politely, its often with a condescending tone and implied facial expressions and body language.

One does not always get healthy eye contact. If you are being helped, there is no indication that it might be the case. You are not told what is being done, the process, duration or what to expect. The attitude is, “I am too important to explain that to you”. “Don’t you know who I am and what is my position?” “You must wait.” “Surely, you might be barely deserving my service as you are just another ‘country bookie’ or simpleton who will not understand.”

If you are a male customer, you must suffer for every man who has ever harassed this woman. Or just being male might qualify you for receiving attitude as after all, you don’t deserve efficient service as it might show am a subservient woman. Or, don’t think my perception of your attractiveness of charisma will get you anywhere.

Then there is the discriminatory behaviour in the workplace propagated by these graduates who are often in charge. After all, graduating from certain institutions somehow qualified them above and beyond graduates of other schools. This is not only ludicrous but a product of miseducation. In fact, they do not empower other workers, but rather micro-manage and are shortsighted many times as to the public they serve.

On closer observation, one can see a correlation between the women having this lack in their work ethic and the institution they attended. By and large, it is a chronic problem with the graduates on GHS in public service.

These women are often professional but deal with Vincentian citizens in the same way as they learnt during their student life at GHS. They have unhealthy attitudes towards the rest of creation, as they seemed to be receiving a one-sided education. As long as this classist attitude exists in Vincentian society, we will always be an unhealthy society.  They cannot appreciate professionalism coupled with pleasantry and humility.

Every Vincentian citizen deserves to be served at government and other institutions with respect and dignity. They are not to be judged or discriminated against. Until our workers learn this important element in their role of service, we will always be less than a nation of equality and emancipation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

12 replies on “Miseducation at GHS”

  1. That is a SERIOUS misrepresentation of GHS graduates. you donot have the right to make such general statements regarding GHS graduates because I would have seen the same attitudes to which you refer from graduates of other schools.

    PROUD GHS GRADUATE

  2. Interesting article. As a product of this institution and a public servant, there is some merit to your argument. I sympathatize with your experience; however, as a whole , the public service is a classist organization. From those who feel they are graduate of premier institutions, those given jobs by politicians, those from affluent or high social standing families or just suffering from a deficiency of good ‘old fashion values’; it can be difficult to determine if there is a singular cause or a more complex multiplicity of causes.

    Unfortunately within the last decade or so, othersiders and those involve have stood on the sidelines and observe the blatent class structure cement roots at GHS. From the institutionalizing of co-curricular activities that lay bare a student from a home with limited access to finance; particular teachers visibility favouring student from their social standing; principals going all out to source resources for particular program at the best xpense of others.

    My dear writer if you think the former GHS students were classist, I hope you never have to interact with the new crop

  3. Very well said Mr. Bramble! This occurs much too often. I applaud your sincerity and your compassion. We are all equal in the world of our natural surroundings.

  4. I wish I would love on this article a hundred times. This is nothing but facts! Speaking from a none bias perspective as a person born outside SVG.

  5. Bobbert Robert says:

    Do you feel proud classing ALL GHS past students like this? What may be your experience with one or two that you know for certain does not apply to every past student from every generational period. Food for thought, the way you look at and treat the students while in school will affect how the react to the general public. You put them on a high pedestal and whisper about them and side talk; that is obbiously going to affect how they see the general population. You can’t plant corn grains and expect a sorrel tree to grow. Your misinformation is so well written that persons who were prejudice to GHS before now has something to take and run with as their “fact”. The school and their brilliant and well deserved reputation would not be directly affected as you primarily target the past students, but what you fail to realise is that you are disheartening perspective students and untruthfully swaying the minds of parents who would like for their daughter to attend GHS, but would not want her to turn into a “snob”- which is essentially what your description of GHS past students paints them as. “Miseducation” is quite an I’ll term used as it hints the girls were purposely thought in a way they should not have been to belittle people-trample them. You could not be more wrong. The fact that you dedicated yourself to writing an entire article filled with myths about past students of this one educational institution is very unprofessional but shows that you were very unsatisfied with your customer service from various institutions; whose ladies you were left to assume could’ve only come from that particular school. There is much more I would like to say but to cut this short, your well written article would have no doubts been a good argumentative essay and I’m sure any ghs teacher would’ve loved grading it, but it lacks one thing essential in such writing type – facts. Facts are what diffrentiate our past students – not some rude or snotty behaviour of some young lady doing a service to you. Not saying she coyld not be a past student, but that dear would be quite the wild assumption. Have a blessed day all and you Mister or miss Bramble, rethink your misconception about the general GHS alumni from not an emotional standpoint this time, but a logical and well educated one.

    1. Thank you for speaking for us GHS graduates… so disappointed in the writer and this is the second piece I have seen of his attack on GHS students. There is seemingly a personal grudge that could be addressed in the right forum with the relevant parties.

  6. It is always good to get things off of your chest but the way a person responds to you at any government office has nothing to do with the school you attend, but plainly the person’s personality or their lack of customer service training. If you go anywhere and are dealt with rudely you have a right to speak to their supervisor and report them. We are all equal and should be respected.

    All schools have their snobs. That does not make it right to generalize all students of GHS based on your bad experience. Many persons get along well with me as I was brought up in the church with “respect others” engrained in my head by my mother. After many persons find out that I am a high school past student they are surprised. I don’t hold it against them. Therefor you shouldn’t hold anger against people because of their school. Their upbringing at home is what influences them the most.

  7. Misplaced opinion at best! The author seems to equate the rudeness and arrogance of female workers and Vincentian women in authority, with being past students of GHS. This is myopic to the extreme. Customer service, and generally being kind to customers and colleagues in a work setting, is sadly wanting across the board in this dear multi-island nation of ours and this simply cannot be blamed on one educational institution or gender. I do not doubt that there may be graduates of GHS who display this kind of arrogant behavior, but it may be a simple case of societal influence, poor home up-bringing, a lack of self-awareness or just a generally toxic persona that no amount of well-intentioned education could eradicate, than where one went to high school. There are many persons who have a terrible work ethic and attitude and the inability to display any sort of human warmth in a professional setting and they are neither female nor GHS grads.. perhaps the author may want to delve a little deeper in his knee-jerk assessment of our societal ills and inequities.

  8. This is so true to some extent I am a GHS graduant with my qualifications but because I’m going some rough times now because of employment and everything being political here I went to seek assistance from the services. I went to one of my so called friend from school and was met with scrutiny and degraded to the lowest form in humanity.it was as if the money I was going to get help with was coming out of her pocket. But what she fails to realize the same ladder she climbed on will be the same one she falls off. Life is a circle what goes around comes right back around. She will need my assistance one day

  9. It has some merit,the evidence is there with SOME graduates.i have no problem whatsoever with the empowerment of our women but for SOME it has gotten to a point where it seems SOME heads are swollen with attitude problems.

  10. Miss Concerned Citizen says:

    While I understand your argument of the lack thereof of costumer service from public servants I cannot agree that all those who display such behavior are GHS graduates. Mr. Bramble where are your facts to support such accusations on my former institution? While it is not right, we all know that SVG on a whole lacks proper customer service but how do you lay blame on one particular institution for the failing of society to instill and transfer work ethics and knowledge to younger folks? Sounds like you are speaking from a place of pure emotions and not facts and I do wish you are able to reflect on this piece and see it from another perspective. Kindly I ask you to stop tarnishing the name of my alma marta and its past students.

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