WITH knowledge being the key to success and the lack of knowledge resulting in peril, as it is stated in scripture, Mr J is encouraging all students to stay in school with his new Junkanoo track.
“Stay in School” is a song that addresses the number of problems teachers are faced with on a daily basis concerning students and highlights areas of concerns that students should focus on. Cases of disruptive students, violent behaviour, class clowns and instigators are just some of the issues that both teachers and students contend with, that hamper a healthy learning environment. “With the passing of VAT, a precursor to the Bahamas’ ascension to the WTO, and a possible gateway of increased outside competition at home, a solid educational foundation is critical to the very survival of the Bahamian way of life,” Mr J said. “Violence, crime and poverty are sure fruits of a low average population. We must do all we can to inspire our children to strive for excellence in their area of gifting.”
The new song was inspired by an invitation Mr J received from the School Attendance Unit in the Ministry of Education to address the students of the A F Adderley and D W Davis high schools concerning the importance of remaining in school and receiving an education.
“I didn’t have a song to fit the format of the sessions I was invited to. I had in the vicinity of about three weeks to write an original song, practice and memorise it amidst a busy work schedule. The original version was dancehall style, but I decided to switch to Junkanoo to embrace and express our vernacular that even grandmothers can appreciate,” Mr J said.
“ ‘Stay in School’ underscores the worrying exam results released earlier in August 2014 that indicated on average that students continued to earn low grades in the core subjects of math and English. There was also a marginal rise in the G grades, which is the lowest, and it was noted that difficulty in comprehension and problem solving skills are evident.”
In the second verse of the song, Mr J reminds students that it is OK if they don’t understand a particular subject of study and asking for an explanation does not mean they are dumb.
“If you have a question, ask the question, no you een da dumb one cuz you een understand,” he sings.
Asking questions and receiving an explanation is all a part of the preparation process for great exam results, graduation, matriculation and becoming qualified in a career area. This adds productivity to the country and makes it a prosperous and stable society, Mr J said.
Plans are now underway for a music video shoot for the song. Persons that are interested in being a part of the video can reach Mr J on Facebook by searching MrJ Bahamas and send a message titled ‘Stay In School video’. The song can be requested on all local stations, including in the Family Islands.