Parent says it's better to have a well-rounded child over a book-worm

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Students should strike a balance between extracurricular activities and their schoolwork, according to the student who topped this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.
“Allow your children to do what they love to do and put a foot down when it comes to their education,” was the advice from the top student, Eric Joseph Jr to parents across the nation.
“Don’t take schoolwork lightly [even though you] have a passion for another area in your life,” advised Eric Jr. “I always took my schoolwork seriously I always listened to what my dad said, so strike a balance in your passion.”
The top student, who attended the Baptist Academy of Antigua and played on national youth basketball team admitted on yesterday’s OBSERVER AM show that it was difficult to strike a balance between studying for the examination and his love for the sport. However, he emerged as the island’s top CSEC student with 15 subjects.
“I know in the past I would’ve been a bit more insistent on him being in the books majority of the time,” said his father, Eric Sr. “Recently I’ve come to accept it’s better to have a child who is well-rounded as opposed to a bookworm.”
Nikisha Delabanque, mother of one of Island Academy’s top student, Reef Delabanque, agreed with Eric Sr and said that her son’s participation in football has helped him to manage his time wisely and to be disciplined.
“Teenagers get stressed out from the level of work that they have to do and football provided an avenue whereby he can de-stress,” said Delabanque’s mother. “You can’t always be in a book … after a while you don’t retain anything, so you need to get fresh air and be active.”
Petra Williams, mother of Jerry Aska, who is one of St Anthony’s Secondary School’s top student, praised extracurricular activities such as those in the church for assisting in her child’s academic success.
“My son attends the Bible Speaks Adventist Church and the Pathfinders Club helped a lot in terms of balancing the street smarts,” Williams said on the programme.
She added that his school and the people he surrounded himself with exposed him to life experiences that allowed him to grow.
Eric Sr added that he was very keen on the environment where his son played basketball to ensure that he was kept away from bad influences.
“Whenever he goes to a basketball court, I try to pay attention to who’s there, the level of liming and so on to make sure the bad influence doesn’t get in too much,” the father said.

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