Our Readers' Opinions
February 12, 2010
The NDP had its own Education Revolution


Editor: The writer in an article ‘What is NDP’S Position on the Education Revolution’ highlighted the achievement of the education revolution supposedly instituted under the ULP administration. The one thing that the writer failed to realize is that a revolution is a complete change and not an evolutionary process.{{more}}

In examining the performance of the NDP in education, you will realize there were many successes. The NDP administration built the A’level College in the 1990s which is now part of the SVG Community College. The A’Level College has had the biggest visible impact on education system in this country for the past 40 years. Before the A’level College was built, most students who did A’levels at the St. Vincent Grammar School came from the Grammar School, the Girls’ High School and St. Martin’s. The building of the A’level College has enabled students from all the other secondary schools to enter the college and perform creditably.

The NDP built several other schools during its tenure. They built the Georgetown and Bethel Secondary schools, which are two of the three largest schools in this country. At the primary level, they built Greggs and C.W. Prescod Primary Schools. Many other schools were expanded to accommodate more students. The Kingstown Preparatory School was completely rebuilt and now is the largest primary school in this country with over 1,000 pupils.

In 1989, the then NDP administration made university education affordable and available to most Vincentians who desired and aspired to attend, by paying the economic cost. Today the vast majority of the Senior Civil Servants serving this ULP government benefited from that revolutionary decision. Previously, you only attended if you got a scholarship or you were part of the privileged class to pay your way.

The NDP administration opened up the Kingstown Preparatory school to all classes, meaning the rich and poor. In the past, it was the middle class children who gained entry to that school.

The NDP broke with common law tradition and appointed a female to be the principal of the St.Vincent Grammar School, our premiere boys’ school in this country. Isn’t that revolutionary?

The Curriculum and Evaluation Unit was instituted under Mr John Horne, then Minister of Education. He then split the role of the Chief Education Officer and Permanent Secretary, which was performed by one person to improve efficiency and performance in the Ministry of Education.

I must give the ULP credit for their focus on Early Childhood Education and expanding secondary education, but we must not forget that most students who failed the Common Entrance Examination went on to senior schools where they were given further support then transferred to a secondary schools after completing Senior Three. Today a lot

of the students who enter secondary schools have problems mastering the curriculum because they can’t read.

The NDP introduced the School Feeding Programme in collaboration with UNICEF in 1984. They then introduced the Book Loan Scheme in 1998. You mean I must not tell the people of this? Aren’t they revolutionary?

The Educator