Mike Beckles

Bonnet Primary School is nestled in the cool hilly regions of North east Saint Catherine. Bonnett District was formerly a cul-de-sac, you get in on foot or vehicular ,then turn around and head back toward Benbow.

As a kid growing up there, life was simple in the 60’s and 70’s most of us were poor, we ran around bare-feet, patches of different cloth in the backside of our shorts which had seen better days. We drank from the streams, we swam in the rivers, played soccer and cricket in the school-yard bare-feet.

The Primary school then was one big open room separated by  calk-boards , at times housing as much as nine classes, looking back it seem strange that anyone could learn anything in the din of hundreds of students reciting , reading and just talking at the same time.

Most times it was like a bee-hive, broken only when teachers took us outside on the grass under the trees. As little kids we loved being out of the school-room and out in the open. I for one was way more comfortable sitting on the grass in my khakis, saying “me teacher”in that sing song voice we associate with grade school kids.

As a secondary school student I lobbied the member of Parliament, I called in to Ronnie Thwaites, I wrote letters begging that the roads leading in to the district be paved. It wasn’t until after I had graduated high school, that they finally got around to paving the Bonnet to Benbow Road.

Unfortunately the way things stood in the 70’s are the way they remain today.

bonnett4Gleaner photo:

This is the urinal I used as a kid , it was nothing more than a runoff into a hole, it is the same as it was in the 70’s today. http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130615/news/news1.html


Gleaner photo:

The math teacher Althea Bryan (my cousin )is my Aunt’s daughter, she decided to stay and educate the kids, as her mom did for years before she retired.

The teachers complain there is no piped water, as it was 30- 40 years ago, so is it today. No staff room for teachers, no computers, they  say plans have been submitted to the Ministry of Education for upgrades to the school, arguing that residents are willing to do the work themselves, yet no money or material has been forthcoming from the government.

I have already called and pledged the first desktop computer to the school, anyone willing to join me in this worthy cause may contact me at excellence@hvc.rr.com. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

When we talk about how government and party politics have failed the people some are indignant. These people are us, me and you, I grew up here these kids are me and I am they.



One thought on “Forty Years Later Nothing Has Changed In Bonnett:

  1. This is how politicians in JAMAICA treat their constituents when they have no dons!

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