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Don’t make our children feel like second class citizens

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Fri, Jun 25, 2010

Editor: The Ministry of Education is asking parents to ‘accept schools where children are assigned’. I have a question for the Ministry that I would really like addressed.{{more}} Having passed the Common Entrance exam, the Ministry places my child at a Government Assisted Secondary School. That school has a fee of EC$100 per term that must be paid for that child to attend that school. Who is responsible for paying that fee? I’ll answer by saying the Ministry, they placed my child there. Why should I have to pay fees when my child passed the Common Entrance? Those that passed and are placed in the Government schools do not have to pay fees. This is an injustice. Fix it.

There is too much unfairness, injustice and party politics played out in this country. There is talk about Education Revolution, but I have yet to see meaningful change take place in the education system here. The pressure pre-teenage children go through just to be able to attend the two top secondary schools in St. Vincent is ridiculous. These children are made to feel like second class citizens by persons in the general public as well as family members, if they do not pass ‘high up enough’ to go to the two government secondary schools. The education system also sends this same message to the students, because the same privileges and facilities provided for students in the government schools are not provided for those in the government assisted schools. I wonder if these children are not also Vincentians like those in the government schools.

Another anomaly in the system is that there is no limit of graduate teachers in the government schools, but in the government assisted schools there is a limit on how many Specialist and Graduate teachers the government will pay. What are we calling an education revolution when all these inconsistencies exist? Education revolution for whom? It should be a norm for children to be able to access education; it is a basic right of children. When the government provides access to a secondary education for children in the country they call that an education revolution.

The other problem causing policies in the education system also need to be fixed so that we can all work and be educated on a level playing field. Right now is too uneven.

Upset Parent and Teacher

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