Boys need to step up now, says Jarrett



JARRETT...”We need to get more boys into university.” (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

PRESIDENT of the Jamaica College Old Boys Association (JCOBA) Major Basil Jarrett is appealing for the local “Old Boys network” to reclaim its top position in the island.

Speaking last Wednesday at the 26th Annual Carlton Alexander Awards Dinner hosted by JCOBA at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, Jarrett said the network, which consists of JC, Calabar, Kingston College, Wolmer's Boys' School and St George's College, had become satisfied with being number one in football and athletics, but content in taking second place to the girls academically.

“We need to get more boys into university. At this point females vastly outnumber males at The University of the West Indies and other tertiary institutions. We believe that as Old Boys we need to encourage, equip and motivate current boys so that they can compete with not just other boys, but with girls as well and take their place at the universities. We can't have a situation where one segment of the population is progressing and the other isn't,” he said.

Further, Jarrett said it is not a blame game, but rather, a matter of Old Boys doing their part to help push not just JC, but the men of Jamaica forward.

“We believe that when the boys schools get it right and we start to improve in discipline, academics and all others areas, then we will help to move Jamaica forward,” he said.

Jarrett, however, pointed out that his call was in no way misogynistic.

“Ladies, it is nothing but love. However, I think you'll agree with me that as much as our ladies and our women achieve, our men must also achieve. So I'm doing the ladies here tonight a great service by ensuring that when their daughters grow up they will have equally qualified and equally respectable, equally impeccable men to marry,” he said.

Jarrett also underscored that this network must ensure that traditions of excellence and holistic values are passed on to future generations if it is to remain relevant.

“I am absolutely honoured to stand in this position where I can address you. When I was going to JC it was the Old Boys who inspired me, the Old Boys who made me feel I could be anything I wanted to be, make me stand here before you today. I believe that it is very important for us younger Old Boys to pick up that baton that Old Boys like Ainsley, Renn and the other Carlton Alexander awardees have passed on to us. But the only way we can continue to be great is if old boys continue to achieve, excel and live up to the wonderful potential and legacy that is JC,” he said.

Where this year's awardees — Professor Renn Holness and Ainsley Henriques — are concerned, Jarrett said that their commitment to JC and moulding young men speaks for itself.

“Ainsley, thank you for being a good inspiration to younger old boys. Renn, in our interaction at your home as we talked about the award, one thing stood out. You were academically gifted, but you also ensured you lived a balanced, well-rounded life at JC, and to hear you talk about it with such pride and joy warms my heart,” he said.

The Carlton Alexander Awards is the flagship event of JCOBA and is considered the most significant, prestigious and respected of all honours and awards bestowed by JC on old boys who have not only gone on to achieve great things in life for Jamaica and themselves, but have remained committed to the development of the school

Reprinted from the Jamaica Observer

Article by KIMBERLEY HIBBERT | Staff reporter | hibbertk@jamaicaobserver.com