Our Readers' Opinions
September 5, 2014
SVG’s 2014 CXC results: Another commentary

Fri Sep 05, 2014

Editor: Recently, SVG’s Education Minister, Girlyn Miguel and CXC’s Charles Mayenga, senior assistant registrar, Examinations Administrations and Security Division gave an analysis and breakdown of our national performance at the 2014 external examinations with CXC, including CAPE. They were both pleased with our secondary (high) school students’ CXC performances and also those at the more advanced “CAPE” level, with some cautious reservations.{{more}}

Properly put in essential summary perspective, the latest available data show that only 41.7 per cent of our SVG students actually gained passes in five subjects, including English A: language and mathematics. So, objectively we still haven’t reached the gold standard.

As a most fortunate recipient of US Federal full-scholarship in the emerging sciences, I readily appreciate the education minister’s advised focus on our SVG students pragmatically targeting the STEM subject-disciplines, inter alia, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Like Education Minister Miguel, let us hope that the overall CXC examination pass rate, nationally, continues to improve.

A Further View

EVERY thing else being equal, ceteris paribus, this was a fair attempt by the Ministry and the CXC official to give early preliminary analyses of the most recent SVG CXC results, including those at the more advanced (CAPE) level, though with the understandable need to put the most favourable light on our students’ 2014 results.

As in our internal SVG comparative analyses, the real situation of our charges can perhaps be best ascertained by a thorough-going wider regional comparison in all areas, subject-disciplines, actual singular grades/quality of grades, profiles, categories or subject areas, and strategically determined and targeted major subjects.

In doing this, we will quickly find it necessary to do a similar micro–macro assessment such as we do at home, or used to until the arrival of the politically correct, overly timid ‘softie’ do-gooders and those who were flabbergasted with the phenomenon of some of the highly reputed urban secondary schools being solidly whipped [as in the historic case of SVG junior netball] in these crucial academic areas.

Why do certain other Commonwealth Caribbean countries and/or schools outperform our SVG nationals in many of these indices and disciplines?

The parameters for the true answers could be set by asking similar questions which we used to ask nationally: why does/did Prep School usually outperform the other primary schools —- and now no longer?

Why did Grammar School and Girls’ High, in additon to St Martin’s Secondary and Convent, historically outperform the other secondary schools?

And why did St Martin’s displace the Grammar School, while the Girls’ High School maintained its premier place vis-a-vis the St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown?

Therein lies the answers to the “Whys”.

Then, we need to go further and take the requisite remedial actions to totally remedy the existing situation.

Constraining Phenomena

A few phenomena are also rapidly imposing themselves on our SVG society and have thereby been significantly impacting our SVG student performances in more recent years – – – and act as stubborn constraints on our students’ performances.

There are clearly increasing incidences and cases of young children, youth and students being exposed to regular and frequent sidestream smoke from or actual abuse/use of marijuana. Sorry, but especially at such delicately young ages, and the continuing physical-electrochemical development of their brains, this habitual occurrence can be easily proven to be having comparatively major dents in our students’ mental perceptions and academic performances, not to omit the negative behavioural responses of some in this cohort.

Our Social Fabric

The students at the Community College [the former Sixth Form . . .], the SVG School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the SVG Teachers’ College urgently need to do sociological and other social science studies of the increasingly delerious impact of our deteriorating family life patterns and family structures on our education system, moreso in recent years.

Sorry, the politicians don’t dare say it. And, other civic and social leaders tend to skirt the matter all too gingerly.

BUT, it must be categorically stated. Our school children are increasingly being hampered by our increasingly more unstable and chaotic family life in all too many cases. Broken and upside down family life is seriously taking a very heavy toll on our children, youth and students — and negatively affecting their academic achievements and behavioural performances.

A strong family system is a filip to any couple, extended family, community and nation.

Yes, am fully apprised of the tragic, utter destruction wreaked upon our famiy system by the evils of slavery. Yet, enough generaltions have gone by for us to now renew our determination and national resolve to beat back this once-imposed problematic condition. As a still young nation, we simply must defeat this problem before we can adequately excel and dominate at the regional academic scene. Sorry but other Caricom countries have noticeably made much more progress in this social aspect than we have.

A broken family system is the bane of any society. And, the natural nemesis of educational attainment, social advancement, and occupational success.

Perverse ‘Modernism’

The elitist secular-materialist philosophies of clerical higher criticism, so-called “Organic Evolution”, Social Darwinism, Socialism / Communism, more recent pseudo-Liberalism, and Secular Humanism, together with situational ethics and general permissiveness, have all combined to further exacerbate our particular SVG national problems related to family life and structure – – – making real solutions to our problems of student academic achievement and performances next to humanly unattainable. By working back on those vexing causative factors, SVG can truly tackle its broader causative academic problems head-on.

Of course, we can freely choose, instead, to follow like the children of Hamelin, the modern Pied Piper of supposed “modern” Western White Euro-American civilized degeneration and social decadence which they have arrived at by overdevelopment and national aging. We in SVG must buck the trend or descend into the abyss of the imminent “fall” of the 21st Century’s contemporary Roman Empire.

The PRICE for Freedom, or Academic Excellence

SVG is far too young for that as a newly emergent nation-state. I do perceive that the worthy struggle to salvage our SVG students’ academic performances and achieve our very highest national potential and full international excellence, is essentially the same national struggle to see SVG survive the present and fast developing global threats to our continued existence as a newly emergent nation.

Quo Vadis, my dearly beloved Hairouna, the high potential Commonwealth

Caribbean State of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

I lovingly repeat: SVG, quo vadis?

Steve Huggins

[email protected]