Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Education Retardation or Revolution

There are many misconceptions that apply to the Government's policy of revolutionising the education system. Scholarships for students and teachers school buildings in the exact same colours all over the island...but allow me to pay attention to the 'No child shall be left behind' story.

I am not an educator...I am merely educated and an example of how the grace of God saved me from a system I will never understand.

But it would seem to me that if we are going to be sending every child that writes the Common Entrance exam straight to secondary school...we may as well do away with that process. How about adopting an evaluation-based exam that would assist in determining the reading, math and processing skills of a child? Something that would indicate what areas need to be focused on when that child is automatically placed in a secondary school.

Because, I can assure you that if the system remains the way it was when I was in secondary school (oh lord it is almost 10 years since)...the chances of our nation's children improving basic learning skills and strategies are rather slim. Especially since most of their families cannot afford private schools and after-school tutoring of quality standards.

As I said earlier, I am not certain how I made it through the system but it was not until university that I discovered, on my own, that I was a long-distance runner and not a sprinter like what the system wanted. I preferred to plan(train), write out everything I read (stretch), study(eat healthy nutritious foods) not CRAM (drink loads of coffee and red bull/be tempted to steal notes or a book even/mamaguy your fellow classmates as what topic you swear is coming for the exam/mamaguy yourself into thinking that no sleep is an ok state of existence/come to the exam looking like shit/conduct a postmortem on the paper and cuss out the person you phoned at three in the morning for the notes from Lecture # 5.

When is the new generation going to figure what kind of student they are? Will they ever or will they just hope to beat the system and not even remember what moves they made?

And the other classic feature of the Retardation process...dozens upon dozens of teachers with shit degrees in education...I swear the newspapers made a mint from the congrats to this and that teacher garbed in that horrendous blue robe (I wore it I am damn well entitled to criticise it).

The Government is giving away degree costs and opportunities in a manner that can only be described as atrocious. More money is being spent I swear to buy out the votes of the educators of our country...the cost of teachers therefore increased because they have entered a new salary bracket (which is the reason most of them do the programme anyway) but the quality of education is stagnant. The dichotomy between the improvment on one side and the stillness on the other is petrifying to me.

Where are the specialist teachers...the ones that focus on math...reading...writing...spelling... pronounciation...grammar...general learning skills acquisition. Where are the ones that teach the foreign languges fluently bringing another culture alive...where are the ones that take you on field trips (not because both teacher and student are fed up of the classroom) but the ones that want to instill a sense of national pride and identity in the teaching of our history and social studies.

Rather, we are fostering a people that think it is acceptable to have an empty degree once you are a public servant (because you dare not try that madness in the private sector). If I see another library with ten books and three wooden tables or water tap project in the newspaper again...I will scream.

All these degrees in Education with Administration skills and other inapplicable areas are utter bullocks and blatthery...they make no impression on the system...on the child...they merely drain what we barely have for no return and the sad part is that the creator of the Retardation of the education process and the teachers;
(1) seem not to care
(2) seem to be unaware of the perpuation of ignorance
or my personal conviction
(3) are fervently hoping that no one catches on to the scheme.

Can we break the cycle?

I cannot claim complete originality in this piece although I was arguing the point with someone convinced that the only reason Haiti is so battered by the world and Mother Nature is because vodou is considered a national religion. (Research it...I am not applying a mere stereotypical bias). - Read Sir Hilary
Beckles article "The Hate and the Quake". If this link doesn't work... Google the article, it will pop up.

I can add only this to the thoughts on the issue - The inability of Haiti to assist itself is a reflection of many things....the reasons discussed by Sir Hilary speak for themselves but they do not weigh on my mind as much as the FAILURE of our Caribbean Civilisation to offer any tangible support over the years to a sister country spun from the same threads of slavery, economic dependency, colonialism, and the struggle for idenity as people. Shame on our leaders that would have read of Toussaint and quoted from his root/tree/struggle speech.

The Government gave a scholarship a couple years ago titled the "Toussaint L'Overture award"...what the hell have we done to warrant us...entitle us to use the name of that Revolutionary hero?

Can we give of our material selves...that may be challenging? But where are our voices...opinions and thoughts...

Where were our great orators when there were calls for reparations to be paid to Haiti by France...maybe they were championing the cause of Japan's whaling industry or the Cuban Five.

I am genuinely sympathetic towards Obama and his "Haiti we will not forsake you". He has inherited the culture of oppression of his predecessors and as a man with the blood of Africa running through his veins he has to possibly undertake to conduct himself with the same imperialistic mindset of "aiding with bread and water and medicine while we rape, ravage and exploit what meager resources they have. It cannot be easy to walk along that path in the name of national interest when you are aware prior concerns were based more on fears of Communism and the continuation of black oppression, especially since the Civil Rights movements were up and coming.

David Rudder sang 'Haiti, I'm sorry' over two decades...and we are still waiting to turn our heads and help restore the glory. Rather we are glued to the tube with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper.

BTW...did anyone think it strange how quickly these people were in Haiti...I think Gupta and Cooper were on the island the same night of the earthquake.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

If you experience any of the following sympthoms...

For the people that have tried to put any chemical concoction in their hair or on their body...hopefully they would have read the sheet of paper usually has a paragraph about testing a sample on your forearm so as to ensure that there are no adverse allergic reactions to the product.

The Goebbels of the NDP aka E. G. Lnych thinks that we Vincentians should try out Eustace as a leader since Ralph is running the country to the ground - so say he, our local propaganda god. "Give him a try, nah,...see what he could do".

What the bloody hell, since when is leadership a trial run...the nation a guinea pig or an allergy test? I must have missed the rule that says pathetic comparison is the path to undertake...after all, meritocracy is a waste of time.

When are people going to stop creating tables of contrast and actually state what they are capable of doing for the country? Honestly, I may be naive and I seriously want to be educated on this...but what the hell does Arnhim Eustace do to earn a living? I heard he is a qualified economist and he comes from a strong educational background (J.P. Eustace and all that)...but what can he actually do to improve Saint Vincent and the Grenadines...what does he bring to the table per say?

We all know that half of the lawyers in SVG are wanna be politicians...the social awe and distaste that people hold them in propels them into the arena know - the Baptiste of Culture, the Phd with the big yellow building (that I think completely breaches building codes), the Friday from Northern Grenadines and of course Big Papa Ralph and most of them hold fast to some political entity.

But, at least we know they could talk...they could represent the interests of the nation on a local, regional and international level...have you really listened to the oratory skills of the him or not. Arnhim, no disrespect, always sounds as if he is about to lose his voice but I think it is his dentures threatening to fall out.

Let us be frank, Ivan has decent ideas but we are but subject to our fickle human nature - the man speaks like something is not connecting right in his cranium. Nuff said.

And apart from certain uncertain lists of candiates, it seems as if PPM not sure if they will remain a social entity with political interests or a political party with social interests.

And we are left with what...the tiring puppet master with his box of ventriloquist dummies, the balding individual who loves to host his own Parliament with his battalion of Judases-in-waiting, the gaunt two-man side show and the revolutionary gentleman who will introduce dashikis as Parliamentary garb and maybe bring about repatriation.

What a tangled web we weave.

In conclusion, if the redness, itching or swelling continues or grows worse over a period of twenty four hours, please seek immediate medical attention.