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Women can teach… just as well as the men teach women

Women can teach… just as well as the men teach women

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Ambassador Betty Boyea-King, the United States representative to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organisations in Switzerland, does not believe that there is a pressing need to recruit more male teachers in the classroom.{{more}}

Delivering a presentation at last Thursday’s Girls’ High School centenary lecture series, Boyea-King made this assertion during the discussion segment.

A member of the audience raised the issue of the shortage of male teachers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ educational system,

and the ambassador responded: “I am not sure that we need to have men in a classroom to make sure that the males… learn.”

“Women can teach… just as well as the men teach women,” she added.

Boyea-King pointed out that, historically, teaching is one of the professions that women have come to dominate, because men did not want to take up the role.

“Now, it’s very difficult to get to change a trend that has been in existence for so long,” she explained.

“If they’re not so inclined, I’d rather not have them [men] in the classrooms teaching anybody.”

Boyea-King added that she believes there is more of a need to get males back into the classroom to learn; as they are outnumbered by their female counterparts at the secondary and, more so, tertiary levels.

Child Psychologist Alisa Alvis, an alumna of the GHS, disagrees with Boyea-King’s assertion.

“She makes the mistake of assuming that schools are simply about education,” said Alvis.

“School is about socialisation. It’s where children spend the majority of their waking lives.”

She added: “I find it remarkable that people can insist that female role models are vital for girls, but that male ones aren’t for boys.”

Alvis, who is currently pursuing a PhD in School & Clinical Psychology, pointed out that, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there is a high percentage of single mothers and absentee fathers.

“For some boys, a male teacher may be the only strong role model he sees. And, more than that, a lot of them go around longing for the positive regard of an older male they admire,” she explained.

“When they can’t get it from conventional places like the home and school, they look to get it in the streets,” lamented Alvis.

“Gangs are like families in that way. They recruit by appealing to people’s sense of not belonging to anything or anyone.”

Alvis, who hosted last year’s July centenary lecture, opined: “Just like how in other countries diversity is insisted upon as important for balance, I think the same should be said for gender.”

“If you really… want to see a balanced world, then the input of men is necessary!”

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