The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

Recently, SVG’s Education Minister, Girlyn Miguel, and CXC’s Charles Mayenga, Senior Assistant Registrar, Examinations Administration and Security Division, gave

an analysis and break-down of our national performance at the 2014 external 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.

Properly put in essential summary perspective, the latest available data shows 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 U.S. 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, continue to improve.

Every thing else being equal, ceteris paribus, this was a fair attempt by the Ministry and the CXC official to give early preliminary analyses 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 in all areas, subject-disciplines, actual singular grades/QUALITY OF GRADES, profiles, categories or subject areas, and strategically determined 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    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 addition to St. Martin’s Secondary and Convent, historically outperform the other secondary schools?

And, WHY DID ST. MARTIN’S displace the Grammar School, WHILE Girls High School maintain its premier place vis-a-vis the CONVENT HIGH SCHOOL?

THEREIN lie the answers as to the “WHYS”.

Then, we need to go further and TAKE THE REQUISITE REMEDIAL ACTIONS TO TOTALLY REMEDY THE EXISTING SITUATION.

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.

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 deleterious 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 fillip to any couple, extended family, community and nation.

Yes, am fully apprised of the tragic, utter destruction wreaked upon our family system by the evils of slavery. Yet, enough generations 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.

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 family life and structure — making real solutions to our problems of student academic achievement and performances next to humanly unattainable. By back on those vexing causative factors, SVG can truly tackle its 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.

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 (SVG)?

I lovingly repeat: SVG, QUO VADIS?

Steve Huggins 

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

4 replies on “SVG’s 2014 CXC Results: Another Commentary”

  1. Pat Robinson Commissiong says:

    Mr Huggins, the analysis you need is a major undertaking. I would like to see you undertake it. Perhaps a comparative analysis of the results of SVG, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana. You see, I don’t think that they have a more stable family system than SVG. I can speak for Guyana – where there is just as much family breakdown, and where, so I read recently, there is the highest suicide rate in the Caribbean. But the top student there gained 19 Ones at CSEC (where he found time to do 19 SBAs I do not know0. He was a student at Queen’s College, and once upon a time almost all the top students were at either Queen’s College (boys) or The Bishops’ High School (girls), both schools in the capital. But last year the top student came from Anna Regina Secondary School, which, if you know Guyana you will know is a pretty far distance from Georgetown. But when I read the story of her success I found that the school had an excellent Principal and a cadre of dedicated teachers.
    Of course, the students who do well do come, disproportionately, from stable homes. But the stability of the home is not the whole story. Many of those stable homes have parents who have themselves had some education and can therefore assist and encourage their children. How do you help your child if you yourself haven’t a clue what’s going on in school? And if your child has a teacher who is teaching about the use of “a” and “an” and tells him/her that when he/she puts “a uniform” that is wrong because it should be “an uniform”. Or. do you know what a “blou” is? That, I was told, is the singular of “blouse” as in “I’m wearing a pink blou today” And there was the teacher who was preparing multiple choice questions and used this sentence “He hit/hits the ball” for the child to choose the correct version. I pointed out that it all depends on when he hit the ball. I could say “he hits the ball well” – a present continuous. But if he just hit the ball out of the stadium, and there’s a great roar, do you tell someone who comes in late “He hits the ball out of the stadium”? If you are a student who does not have anyone to pick up those mistakes, how on earth do you pass English A?

    Then again, children learn at different rates and they learn differently. I could do things even when I didn’t understand why I was doing them – so I was “bright”. My younger sister needs to understand before she can do things, and she suffered in school, I learned after we grew up, from teachers who said, “Your sister did this so you can do it too”. I could do geometry and get 100%, but it was not until I was grown that I understood what “pi” is. I could learn the formulae and do the problems. I didn’t need to understand “pi”. Some children need to understand. So again, you see, I’m talking about the quality of teaching, the dedication of teachers.

    Then there is the expectation that adults have for the students. If your parents and teachers accept the 60% is a good grade, then it’s unlikely that the students will strive for more. In both Guyana and Trinidad, the two countries I know best, there is fierce competition between schools and between students in a particular school. And, you know, it’s not that students in SVG are any less capable than those in the other territories. Because when those same students go to Universities where they have to compete with others they end up doing as well as everyone else.

    So I would say the children need (a) stable homes, where there are (b) parents who are prepared to devote TIME to their children (there are lots of stable homes where parents think it’s an imposition to take time for the children rather than go to the latest party/ cricket/football match, and who compensate for this neglect by buying them the latest outfits and techie toys), who can (c) help them in the learning process (“Don’t ask so many questions. Just shut up and do what I tell you”), (d) inspirational Principals in the schools – the Principal is the linchpin of the whole school – and (e) effective teachers who are prepared to spend the time to ensure that all the students really understand what is being taught.

    So you would need to look not just at the CSEC results. You would also need to analyze which schools do best, and then visit the schools to assess what is happening in those schools that ensure success for the students. And if you can get information on the parents as well so much the better. A long time ago (I’m talking about the 1950s and 60s) it was established that children from the higher socio-economic classes did better at the old Scholarship/Common Entrance exam than their less fortunate companions. And a disproportionate number of the successful children were the children of teachers/civil servants/professionals. How much that has changed, if at all, I don’t think anyone really knows; but when I looked at the top performers at this year’s end of primary school assessment I thought, “plus ça change”!

  2. Vinciman:

    What is that? Blaringly stupid presentation Steve.

    I could have written that and say all what was said in simpler language…Puke!

  3. False Vinciman, or is it aka Anderson …., er…. Little Willie, thanks for your response. Hopefully it is fair sign that you may have read the “presentation”.

    You disagree with the ‘presentation’, only, and apparently NOT WITH THE CONTENT, but – – – you find a difference in presentation STYLE to be somehow ‘stupid’?

    IS this the level of intelligence in Ralph Gonsalves YOULIMO-WING of the subverted ULP regime?

    You admit that you could have used simpler language TO SAY THE SAME THINGS, but somehow a DIFFERENT or APPARENTLY MORE COMPLEX ‘PRESENTATION’ style makes you puke – – – and cause you to consider it “stupid”?

    I get the point. It was TOO COMPLEX FOR YOU. Message received. You belong to a cohort with SIMPLER MINDS who only tolerate SIMPLISTIC styles on presentation.

    Like the NIS POLITICAL SWINDLE AND PONZI SCHEME. That is indeed simple and simplistic – – – and the SHAMELESS ATTEMPT AT A LYING JUSTIFICATION is SIMPLE ENOUGH and MUCH SIMPLER TO CURE YOUR PAROCHIAL PUKING.

    You INANELY state, inter alia, that YOU could have written ALL that and say ALL what was said . . .

    In ALL MY BORN DAYS – – – I don’t feel that we can find a STUPIDER STATEMENT THAN THAT.

    I ask YET AGAIN: Is THIS the utterly LOW level of followership that Communistic Ralphie has these days?

    Like followers, like leader. And, vice versa.

    You are reaching a LOWER LOW level of contemptuous, ridiculous, obstructionist NAY-SAYING and mere political humbug.

    Don’t you even try to think anymore, when you take up your WASTEFUL job of CURSING AND futilely DEMONIZING every SVG citizen who dare to have a different opinion or view than Dr. Ralph Gonsalves?

    Ah hear an acquaintance of mine reputedly said that is really “Poto-gee” WHO KNOW how to use money. I see that he also tell you that is ONLY ONE “Poto-gee” MAN who is ALLOWED TO OPEN THEIR MOUTHs, TALK, or HAVE ANY PERSONAL OPINION AT ALL.

    Of course is the same MONEY-KNOWING FOOL WHO SOLD OUT OUR NATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK (NCB) FOR FOREIGN INTERESTS.

    It is the same MONEY-WISE NINCOMPOOP who have our NATIONAL INSURANCE SCHEME (NIS) on precipitously SHAKY GROUND.

    ONE-MAN-ism gave us the POLITICAL DISASTER of the SHAMELESSLY ABANDONED CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD.

    LENINIST one-man-ism CAUSE US to SADDLE our poor mauby-cart economy of SVG with FINANCING THE EMPLOYMENT OF COMMUNIST-PARTY APPROVED AGENTS FROM CUBA doing work on the overdue airport project, driving trucks, doing unskilled and low-skilled work WHILE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF POOR, SUFFERING VINCENTIAN WORKERS REMAIN UNEMPLOYMENT AND IN DASTARDLY PENURY – – – while monies are apparently improperly diverted from our authorized current expenditures and leaving the SVG Government’s creditors and workers UNPAID AND SCRUNTING.

    That is just a bare snippet of where ONE-MAN-ISM as practised by a doctrinaire LENINIST has brought us. Kunk-kusa day a door – – – OH! When a man would sell his very soul in unthinking foolish haste to sell out his country. Yes, shut up everyone else. Only one white man maasah must tark.

    You have cetainly JOINED THE LENINIST MARCH OF THE RALPH GONSALVES REGIME. Shut up any one else. No voice or opinion but the MAXIMUM LEADER’S.

    INCIDENTALLY, bro, did you apologise to the gentleman blogger’s wife whom you recently INSULTED without her doing you any thing at all – – – but just because her husband dared to write an opinion here on IWN?

    That was a very NASTY, UNPROVOKED ATTACK on a family member of a poster on this site. Am I to expect that you will now, or soon enough, VULGARLY CURSE, INSULT and IMPUNE my parents, spouse, children, and nenen, cousin and tantie-uncle???

    Is this the sickening ‘quality’ of Ralphie’s followers now, in the YOULIMO-taken-over ‘ULP’ regime?

    Is this HOW Ralph Gonsalves’ ULP regime apologists, lackeys and henchmen BEHAVE and show their low level of intelligence in inane attempts at political and social discourse?

    By the way, you lame-brainedly claim that YOU COULD HAVE WRITTEN ALL THAT and SAY ALL WHAT WAS SAID….

    That’s the POINT, Falsehood…

    You COULD have …. BUT YOU DID NOT.

    I DID.

    You don’t LIKE the STYLE of presentation?

    Or, it too complex or lacking in simplicity for your lame political brain??

    I wasn’t writing it FOR COMMUNISTIC RALPHIE. He TOO FAR GONE.

    And, even simpler wording WOULD BE COMPLETELY WASTED ON YOU.

    YOU, sir, are WILLING IGNORANT.

    You engage in WILFULLY, parochially, SUPPRESSING THE FACTS and HOLDING BACK THE TRUTH in UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.

    You are a mere party hack, henchman, and dissembler ASSIGNED TO GAIN-SAY AND ATTEMPT TO SPURN AND THROW DOUBT on every thing WHATSOEVER that doesn’t spue out of your IDOL master’s mouth.

    How ignorant,fawning and grovelling can a partisan bigot get?

    And yet, your hair-brained response above leaves the unclear impression that YOU AGREE WITH THE CONTENT OF MY ARTICLE ABOVE AND COULD/WOULD HAVE WRITTEN IT YOURSELF.

    I scratch my bald head at such SLEEP-WALKING IDIOCY.

    Ralphie, nah only you far garne – – – but you pool of mendicant camp-followers getting real sparse – – – or grossly dotish.

    Ah sure, sure dey nah smoking anything. Pobre commies….

    /

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