Questioning Where We Lie as a Priority


Courtesy of Kamehameha Schools

: The: E Ola Learner Outcomes” in the Student and Parent Handbook which explains student goals and environments.

The Student & Parent Handbook reads, “the mission of Kamehameha Schools is grounded in the Hawaiian culture and Christian values embraced by our beloved founder Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. […] Students are required to adhere to all requirements of the Kamehameha Schools academic program, including but not limited to: participation in Christian education and attendance at chapel…”

It can be said with confidence that students attending Kamehameha are grateful for Bernice Pauahi’s legacy. We are aware of the several things we can obtain while being educated here, and actually enjoy quite a few aspects of campus life (despite complaining about it so frequently). As attendees, we appreciate her desire to perpetuate the Hawaiian nation through education and Hawaiian identity. We know Christian-based education was significant to her, which is why we understand several of the non-credit graduation requirements: Ekalesia, Chapel. . .

As students attending a college-preparatory school, it makes us wonder why so many non-credit requirements continue to take precedence over credit courses that are important for our high school transcripts. Like mentioned before, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t understand why we need to do non-credit requirements, but rather, how often we do these things and how they function with our other programs.

Because seniors are focused on their college applications, wouldn’t it be better to have their Ekalesia course in the second semester? For Chapel – if we had it a few times in a quarter, wouldn’t students be more engaged in it rather than rolling their eyes because of its redundancy?

While we do understand and appreciate Pauahi’s goal through Christian-based education and Hawaiian identity, there are times where such words seem to be an excuse. How can we be fully engaged with our “world-class, Hawaiian culture-based education” when we have Chapel excessively – seniors having it in the same time frame as Ekalesia classes? How can seniors not be stressed in Ekalesia – thinking about how they have to get through their college applications while knowing that juniors are having a free period in PE? Thinking back to these things, how can students not get upset – quickly labeled as just grumbling and complaining? It’s things like these that make students think about where they stand in Kamehameha Schools’ priorities.

These activities have lost their importance to students because of their redundancy. In reality, yes – these events are important; however, they are no longer important to students after feeling so bombarded by them. As student engagement with these activities begin to dwindle and negativity towards them begin to grow, this is an issue that should be prioritized.

Of course, as mentioned, there are solutions to this problem; however, what truly matters is if people are willing to pay attention to them.