Front Page
May 13, 2005

The boys are dropping out of school and the major concern facing St. Vincent and the Grenadines as well as other countries across the region is how to keep them in the system.

On the heels of the Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD) meeting held in Guyana from April 27 to 29, Minister of Social Development, Selmon Walters, reporting on the meeting last Tuesday, said his Ministry will be playing a more proactive role as it deals with issues on gender and education, human and social development.{{more}}

Walters said the dilemma facing boys was a major concern raised at the COHSOD. He added the problems that confronted boys were not performance related because a study conducted by the University of the West Indies (UWI) during their presentation at the meeting had proven that boys would perform as well as the girls if they remain in school.

Walters said the policy directors in the region was asked to address the drop out scenario. He said one of the issues discussed, was the need for a more male sensitive curriculum.

“It is felt that the curriculum perhaps is not suiting the boys. It is felt also that those countries who still practised corporal punishment is not really helping the boys because within the integrated system the ones who suffer the most or are most subjected to corporal punishment are most times the boys,” said Walters.

Walters disclosed that CARICOM is looking at perhaps proposing a revision of this practice to see if it would help the boys to stay in school.

He said the concern of his Ministry is to find a way to enhance the performance of boys and men.

The Minister commended all Vincentian women for their hardworking efforts.

He said the COHSOD lauded St. Vincent and the Grenadines for its move towards Universal Secondary Education. Universal Secondary Education will officially start in this country in September.

Walters said the meeting also examined poverty and social protection.

The Minister explained when the Unity Labour Party (ULP) formed government in 2001 they met a study conducted by the former administration that placed the poverty ratio at 37 per cent.

Walters said the government immediately declared war on poverty and pinpointed education as the weapon for the eradication of poverty. The Minister said the government is very confident this 37 per cent no longer exist.