EDITOR: We all know that education is not cheap, yet we try to obtain it at a bargain. Despite applying to various funding agencies and financiers, I was unsuccessful in getting free monies to cover my studies. By the time I found out that students studying overseas could get exemption from the airport departure tax, I was asked, “who told you so?” as if I was not entitled to it. Nevertheless, I am grateful that I was able to cover costs with the help of family members and loan funding from Union Island Seventh Day Adventist Church, National Insurance Scheme, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Teachers Co-operative Credit Union, Kingstown Co-operative Credit Union, General Employees Co-operative Credit Union, St. Vincent Building & Loan Association, and Bank of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) had to make special arrangements to administer the examination this year and incurred certain costs in the process. We should pay the bill in full.
Every year when the results are announced, many are not satisfied and some without any legitimate query want changes to be made. I have known students who refused to do the School Based Assessment component of the examination, yet they were looking forward to a pass in the subject. Some knew that they did not adequately prepare for the examination, yet they were expecting to pass. Some thought that because they were “bright,” they did not need to study. In too many cases students do not co-operate with teachers to complete the requirements of the syllabus. Too often the noble intention of the teacher is torpedoed by the sabotage of the unco-operative student who is well able to get the work done.
In some cases, students with adequate knowledge of the subject matter do not perform to their potential because of their limited vocabulary and understanding. This is acquired through much reading. In this age, many students spend much time on Facebook, Ticktok, Videogames, and listening to music. In my time at Grammar School we had a culture of reading. There were a number of “Hardy Boys” books in circulation. They were in such great demand that one was hard-pressed to find a new title. Girls High School had “Enid Blighton.” Ideally, active membership in the school, or public library would solve the problem. Additionally, reading the weekly local newspapers can prove to be very helpful. One year I utilized the newspapers in the teaching of English to Adult Education students with much success. We need to encourage our students in all our schools to read the local newspapers. If this is done we would have fewer complaints about the exam results and would be better prepared for lifelong learning.
Anthony Stewart, PhD