The last couple of weeks, since the announcement of the 20 schools, the newspapers have been publishing many comments on the 20 HPS, specifically why others did not get it. Most of the comments were very discouraging, complaining about more money given to schools that are already quite established, and how the money can be better used by lesser schools.
This is not to say that they did not have a point. Of course they do.
But what I like about the comment made in today's paper by a learned gentleman is that you cannot always wait for all the trains to catch up or the first train will forever be stuck in the same place. This is exactly the point of having these schools identified. It's like putting rankings to all the Ivy League universities. Why do people do that? It is because some universities do more than other universities and they reach further than others. So they are given due recognition and more resources. But then, with all the things they are given, much is also expected of them. Same with the 20 schools. The more they are given, the more expectations that are heaped on them.
For SA, many of us tremble. We have experienced the expectations on us when we were first given the cluster title. We received so many visitors and we were given so many things to do. Paper work almost killed some of us. Everything and anything is about doing things better and more diligently, and so getting everything and anything documented on paper. Whatever we had to do, had to be put on paper as proof. Pictures, reports, forms and all sorts had to be done/prepared. The teaching staff had to buck up. The office staff had to improve. The students had to show they were capable and could exceed beyond expectations. The stress on all of us was frightening and ... sad. Now, with this title on us, even more is expected of us. Yes, we are all going to be stressed about all sorts of things. But ... hold on. Isn't this what life and education is about? Progressing and going beyond the horizon?
I hope and I wish that we can all work together and work out something for the school and make everyone who is remotely connected with us ... proud of us. Much as I am afraid of change and progress, I am ready. I am scared, but I am ready. I might struggle with many things, but I am willing to learn and try my hardest to justify my position in a school deemed excellent.