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Call made for Caribbean History to be taught as a core subject in secondary schools in SVG

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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has made the call for Caribbean History to be taught as a core subject in secondary schools here.{{more}}

The Prime Minister, speaking as part of a series of lectures organized by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College last Wednesday, November 2, at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown, questioned the ability of students to develop in the ever changing world, without historical knowledge of themselves.

“How can we further enhance the nobility of our Caribbean civilization when our students are accorded very little formal education in Caribbean History?

“Are we condemning our students to live in a permanent present without an antidote against the ever present virus of cultural imperialism? Would Caribbean History not assist us in our quest for greater independent thought and action?

“In my view, every student at CXC level ought to be taught and examined in Caribbean History.”

Dr. Gonsalves said that, following an analysis of the performance of the students who sat and passed Caribbean History in the 2011 examinations, which he described as depressing, changes may soon be made based on the information he received from the local Ministry of Education.

“I have made a detailed presentation to Cabinet on this and other aspects of our students’ performance (including in Mathematics and English)…. several appropriate conclusions were arrived at for corrective action.

“The Minister of Education is currently leading the charge, robustly, on these and related issues in education.”

According to the Prime Minister, based on the statistics that he had viewed, performances in the 26 secondary schools could be much better, especially in the core subjects, which he identified as English Language, Mathematics, Information Technology, a foreign language, Critical Thinking and Caribbean History.

“Historically, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the entire Caribbean, our students’ performance at the CXC and “O” Level examinations has been quite unsatisfactory.

This inadequacy more than likely, relates to two factors: a wrong or wholly inappropriate methodology for the teaching of the subject, and an insufficient competency in the subject matter by the teachers themselves.”

The prime minister was speaking on the theme “Education and Independence in the Twenty-First Century”.

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