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100 primary schools failing

By Darcel Choy Thursday, January 21 2016

MORE than 100 primary schools are failing in this country says Professor Theodore Lewis, newly appointed chairman of committees to review Early Childhood Education and Primary School curriculum and develop a refereed foundation textbook on the history of Trinidad and Tobago.

He made the observation yesterday at a ceremony for the distribution of letters of appointment for the committees, at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair.

Lewis said this figure was alarming and added if problems in education are not identified, it could not be solved. “We have to bear in mind there are schools that are not doing the kind of job with the curriculum and the children who are coming in do not have a chance to do better. If there are schools that are not performing, we will never fix them, until we say they are,” he said.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the establishment of the committees was an effort to make the nation perform better.

“There is a general feeling that we are spending more and more money on education and getting less and less educated people and our behaviour is not like that of an educated people.

A lot of our children are simply passing through schools.

“Hopefully, the work of these committees would change that in some, more than small, measure, because if we get the right approach, direct the right quantum resources to the base of that education pyramid, then it becomes easy to get the benefits of that initial investment,” Rowley said. He also said the nation’s youth have inculcated “very dangerous” values.

“Values that you can get something for nothing, that you don’t know where you come from, you have no idea where you might go, these are situations that are very serious for this little country,” he said. On the development of a history textbook, Rowley said it was important that the accurate version of this country’s history be taught to children.

“If we don’t teach our children the proper and accurate version of our history, other people, some of them not meaning well, can teach the revised version according to their agendas, and that is unacceptable in the development of any nation,” he said.

The Prime Minister is hoping that two versions of the textbook be developed. A “lighter version” for younger children and another one for those in secondary and tertiary schools.

He noted that the people who agreed to serve on the committees volunteered to do so and without any “offer or consideration that was financial.” Rowley assured members of the committee that their efforts would not be wasted and the government will be guided by the recommendations made.



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