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Am I a product of the Education Revolution?

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Fri Dec 05, 2014

Editor: I did not pass the common entrance examination and as a consequence I find myself in the “dunce” class together with the other failures. There is hardly anyone here to whom I can turn for help. The poor teacher does not want to teach us. And even if she wanted to, we are not interested. We know that we are not expected to learn anything much. If teacher can keep us busy all day, she will be deemed a success. It is ironic that every initiative taken to help us reaches around us and near us, but not to us.{{more}}

It is known that we have problems with reading, yet we do not have a comprehensive reading programme at school where we borrow and read books every day. The librarian is more interested in keeping the books in order rather than encouraging us to borrow and read more.

We had a reading specialist, but he was moved to the 4th and 5th forms to assist those who are learning and can do the school proud with “good” CXC results. There are about four special programs to help us improve our reading: Hooked on Phonics, Thrass, Computer assisted reading and the traditional basal readers. These programmes are designed for one-on-one reading but are kept under lock and key. A proposal to teach community persons to use them so they can conduct after school classes was rejected. A number of YES persons loitering on the compound could help us learn to read but apparently their job description says, “Do nothing.”

Since they said that we can’t learn and placed us in the “dunce” class, you would have thought that they will assign us to do much practical work like Drawing and Art, but these subjects are not on the curriculum. We like Housekeeping and Cooking, but these subjects are not taught either. They do Food and Nutrition and Home Management which are for the “bright” children who reach the upper forms. And anyway, the teacher says we have no behavior and would “mash up” the equipment in the Home Economics Centre.

The boys would like to build things, but the Industrial Arts teacher says he is afraid we would fight with the tools and so he can’t keep us in the Woodwork centre. We would like to plant a garden and some of us sowed some seeds, but the school is overrun by stray animals despite being fenced and with 24-hour security guards posted. Consequently we are here enslaved with chalk and talk and long to be liberated from this “dunce” class.

Member of the dunce class

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