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On school children being locked out for being late

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Fri Mar 6, 2015

Editor: Maybe I am too much of a realist, and that I should just simply accept, without employing any critical thought whatsoever, the eccentricities in the Ministry of Education. However, with the current discussion about school dropouts and poor performances of our students in SVG relative to those in the other member states of the OECS, this topic of mine should be declared pertinent to the swirling scholastic currents.{{more}} Not to mention to the debate of the famous ‘education revolution’.

For a very long time now I have seen at various schools where students are locked out, and may I emphasize, locked outside of the school compound for being late. These students must linger and loiter in the road until break time and waste learning time because that is the respect that their hard-working parents who are able to send them to school deserve. Teachers do arrive late, and some, systematically late, but they are allowed to come in.

I don’t know whose idea was this to lock students out of the compound for being late, but it sickens me to the core. If this was the method they came up with to deter lateness and to improve punctuality, I would say their intention was noble but their vision was distance-challenged, meaning, they could not see afar off.

Editor, these are antiquated methods at best, especially in our educationally advanced era. They do not work and are not working. In fact, they are more counterproductive than productive. The student loses a lot more.

When we examine and analyse the poor results of our students, there are a number of factors that must be taken into account. I could begin to list ten of them but who in the mighty ‘system’ above us will ever take notes from a duncy head? While I do not have all the answers, I think it is more commendable if late-coming be measured in points/days and that after a certain number of points/days, a student should be made to bring in his/her parent or guardian to discuss and stem this problem. Plus, at least there is interface with the child’s custodian who can help to answer to and address the matter.

On the other hand, if a child is constantly early but arrives late one morning due to some unforeseen circumstance, he or she is locked out. How barbaric this system is!

Duncy Head

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