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Boys need more attention in the classroom – Robinson

Boys need more attention in the classroom – Robinson


President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU) Oswald Robinson would like to see teachers pay more attention to the needs of boys in the classroom.

“Learning environments go beyond the physical structure…we must cater for the needs of all learners, especially the boys in the Vincentian context.”{{more}}

Robinson, who was speaking at the opening of the SVGTU Education Conference on Monday at Frenches House, stated that there is a pronounced problem in St Vincent and the Grenadines with boys in the school system.

“Are our men becoming marginalized? When you look at the entry levels in primary schools and even in secondary schools, it’s almost equal…but when you look at the completion rate you see girls are doing far better than boys.”

The union president told the audience, comprised mainly of teachers, that society’s belief that boys are supposed to be ‘macho’ hinders them, especially in Language Arts, whereas girls excel because they are perceived to be emotional and so they express themselves more.

“There is another thought…that says the education system is becoming more feminized…early childhood they are exposed to a female and if 90 per cent of the single parent homes are headed by females, they are exposed to females who are the mother, who is the first teacher,” Robinson outlined.

He pointed out that at present over 90 per cent of teachers are women, while in the past men dominated the teaching profession.

Although he made it clear that he is proud and pleased that women are taking a more active role in society, he believes “a society cannot develop if one side is underdeveloped.”

Robinson noted that another contributing factor is science, since girls mature faster than boys and girls, and in most instances, learn faster than boys.

The trade unionist believes that there needs to be a new school of thought when it comes to boys and new methods should be used to capture the attention of these young men.

“We have to create an environment and the way we teach boys, we have to revisit it.”(CM)