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Eustace questions results of education revolution in SVG

Eustace questions results of education revolution in SVG


Recent education statistics from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have led Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace to question the results of the education revolution in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

And when the House of Assembly meets today, {{more}}Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel, should, in answering questions posed to her by Member for the Southern Grenadines Terrance Ollivierre, shed some light on the issue of drop-outs in the school system and performance of our students at the CSEC examinations.

In last weekend’s issue of SEARCHLIGHT, it was reported that according to the OECS Education Statistical Digest 2012/2013, St Vincent and the Grenadines has the highest repetition and drop-out rates in the region and below average CSEC results, despite this country’s large investments in education.

According to the digest, St Vincent and the Grenadines has the highest percentage of trained secondary school teachers, low student teacher ratios and the highest public recurrent expenditure on education as a percentage of its GDP for the 2011/2012 period.

During the New Times radio programme yesterday, Eustace questioned the effectiveness of these investments, under the current administration.

“When you look at these figures and you hear all the talk about the education revolution and so on, with all the money being spent, what really are we getting for it? What really is happening with our students, despite St Vincent having the highest expenditure? We are not performing. What therefore is wrong?” the Opposition Leader questioned.

“You would recall that during the budget debate the Honourable Terrence Ollivierre, our shadow Minister of Education, made a statement in relation to drop-outs in our system and so on…and he expressed his concern about our system. It’s true he concentrated a lot on the Grenadines, but the principle remains. We having too much drop-outs and something need to be done to remedy these matters.”

Eustace added that he was not criticizing the spending of the money, but rather the results that are received and continued to question whether the country was receiving value for its money.

In the SEARCHLIGHT article, it was also reported that chief education officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist was expected to give a “cogent response” this week, so that members of the public can better understand the statistics.

“We are told where we are the highest and where we are the lowest. We don’t want a more cogent explanation. The Government has to be commended for the amount of money that they are putting into education, but we are not getting results. I don’t know what more cogent explanation we want in relation to that,” Eustace said.

At today’s sitting of Parliament, Ollivierre will ask the Minister of Education if a national study will be conducted to ascertain the reasons for school drop-outs and to identify students most susceptible to dropping out.

Miguel is also being called upon to say whether the Ministry of Education has conducted a full analysis of the 2014 CSEC Exam results, what is the national pass rate for English A and Mathematics, the number of secondary schools that did not receive any passes in either English A or Mathematics and the number of secondary schools receiving pass rates of less than 50 per cent.