Some years ago, a major change in the educational system erupted after an assessment of the island’s secondary school placement test was conducted. Before the change was implemented, Primary school students were required to take a placement test, after seven years, to determine whether they are capable of continuing onto higher education. The students who obtained the highest scores were placed in the top high schools on the island, the students who fell below that bracket were asked to attend schools within their district while the ones who scored below average either repeated grade six or attended a school which did not accept students based solely on the scores of the island’s inter-school exam. The overseers of the educational sector noticed a drop in the scores for vital subjects such as Math and English and decided the reduce the pass park so that less students would fail. Instead to seeking to find and correct the fundamental issues which caused the drop in passes, we were expected to accept mediocrity and hope that they will improve later in life. At such a young age, students were no longer pushed to strive to reach and go above the pass mark.

Globally, manufacturers of commercial products strive to supply the growing masses and make a profit from items that once upon a time served its purpose for what felt like a lifetime. Now, we aren’t surprised if a pricey refrigerator begins to moan like a truck after two years of use. Our phones are sleeker, incredibly advanced and triple the price of a phone from 5 years ago. However, we must guard them with our lives or a finger nail scratch to a new touch screen may cause it to blank out. If that happens, we’d better find another $1200.00 for a replacement.

It's mango season

In popular culture, the latest trend is to refuse to enunciate and disregard the rules of language. I am not praising “Grammar Nazi’s” and I am definitely not going to “throw shade” at instant messaging or short hand writing. Heck, who has time to edit their Whatsapp messages in the same likeness that an editor proofreads a novel? However, the instant in instant messaging has become so stretched that you can form complete sentences with acronyms. Sometimes, it is difficult to get the true meaning of social media statuses, memes and quotes because it is evident that the author “writes the same way that they speak”. They include slang and unnecessary filler words that they use in casual oral conversations in their written pieces. If you are not familiar with their particular connotations, you’ll probably lose the essence of what they were trying to project. In music, things like “Mumble Rap” has become a “thing”. Music artists are encouraged to slur their words to a point where their lyrics sound like mumbling gibberish.

On a whole, we are expected to accept the downgraded goods that we receive. In fact, objections to these norms are likely faced with ridicule. We are told to stop focusing on what was and embrace what is. It is true that we cannot go back in the past but do we really have to settle for the basic that is in the now? Does replacing a system that wasn’t broken mean we are advancing?