By Anthony G. Stewart, PhD

The Education Revolution is an important change in the process of facilitating the acquisition of knowledge, skills, beliefs, moral and ethical values, positive thinking, and habits as instruction is given or received.

To workers it means meritocracy; promotion and appointment by qualification, experience and fairness. Failure to follow these tenets results in the demoralisation of the workforce and the consequent drop in productivity.

To students the Education Revolution means opportunity. The revolution is particularly important to students who would otherwise have been denied opportunity that they should have.

Our school system needs to teach children not only how to make a living but also how to live. This means that we learn skills to contribute positively to our society and we also learn to live amicably with each other. One attempt to do this is by bringing students into secondary schools who previously may not have had that opportunity.

However, although they wear the same uniform, most schools, if not all, take actions to exclude them from accessing the instructions they need. These actions include placing these students of the Education Revolution in separate classes. The consequence of this is that students experience discrimination. This is natural as segregation leads to ostracisation. These students often enter secondary school with low reading scores and are often resented by some teachers because of this. Some may need individualised instruction and extra support in order to succeed. Rather than planning for this, these students are faced with remarks like:  “Why don’t they go back to the primary school?” and “This is not a school for children with special needs.”

The truth is that many schools have not embraced the Education Revolution and as a consequence actively work to sabotage it. If school leaders and leaders in education do not believe in the revolution, its failure is inevitable along with the grave concomitant failure of the children of the Education Revolution.

One way the Education Revolution should benefit this society is by helping us to do what we do better. The construction worker or vehicle mechanic, for example, would have attached themselves in apprenticeship programmes in the workplace to learn the skills of their profession. Having delayed their entry into the workforce, the Education Revolution should better prepare them for entry by immersing them in the subject areas they need. These may include physics, information technology, mathematics, building and furniture technology, technical drawing and English A. In many cases the students who need and will use their knowledge of subjects like physics are denied the opportunity to study them.

In this age of the Education Revolution why can’t schools guarantee that their students pass English A, mathematics and three other subjects needed for their progress in their chosen academic or career paths? The extent to which this occurs will be a true measure of the success of the Education Revolution and of the masterminds behind it.

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 news.iwitness@gmail.com.

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11 Comments

  1. The supposedly tenet words of “education revolution” are words and only words designed by PM Gonsalves for political purposes. I was going to say an invention by him, but every socialist leader claims to have invented an education revolution. Hugo Chavez did the same thing and look at what he brought with his revolution.

    Every island in the Caribbean launched into upgrading their education systems at more or less the same time with the help of the EU, they were offered help and took it. What is happening in education in today’s Caribbean is a natural progression.

    The writer’s mention of the failure to educate students to A level standards is only the tip of the iceberg. It is not a revolution just because more students are being taught, higher numbers in schools. Real education would bring with it a quality that is lacking.

    Who is the writer named Anthony G Stewart, Ph.D.? Where is he from, and where does he live and work. I pressed all the buttons and cannot find him. Usually, a supposedly esteemed person can be found somewhere else, but he seems to be unknown.

    I hope we can find out about this man, does he exist and if he does what does he hold a doctorate in, if at all.

    Reply

    1. The idea of having an education revolution was and is a worthwhile project; however, the failings lie in the fact that the people who should be the leaders in this project seem to have abdicated their leadership and responsibility. If you are going to revolt you have to ensure that your revolutionaries are well-trained for the revolution to lead and train others leaders, to be proficient in holding and man the front lines, to be curious, innovative, fearless and responsible and forward thinking and willing to step out of their enclosures or boxes. You have to be prepared that when you emerge from the foxhole you are able to protect yourself, lead your recruits to defend themselves and to be prepared to fight to the end.

      I am not seeing much of that in the future education of the students. Same old same, same old career occupation, one general hospital, no paramedics and inadequate numbers of well stocked and well-staffed health clinics, very few technical job positions in healthcare, no science labs in most all of the secondary schools and even in the technical colleges, there is a lack of marine sciences due mainly because of appropriate labs and projected interest, stagnancy in agricultural sciences, no plans to introduce nutritional sciences, nutritional education and nutritional therapy for chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and issues with chronic kidney condition.

      There are adequate numbers of secondary schools in the communities which help to balance out the delivery of education; however, these are fitted with inadequate tools to accommodate high efficiency and advanced learning, facilitate the provision of academics; however, not much in arts, crafts and trades, not too much in everyday commonsense living and life skills, missing on remedial and rehabilitative learning and special needs and noting in small industry manufacturing and/or small business.

      So, the way I look at this and it is a personal opinion until the Ministry of education, the Ministry of Health and the information Ministry collaborate on how effective and efficient they want the education, expectations and results ought and should be, we are going to always be behind the third ball as this seems to be a one man show, This dormancy cannot go one for much longer because in the end we are damaging our future products and prospects

      Reply

    2. What is your contribution in this? We dare not criticize if we cannot problem solve and come with solutions. The way i see it criticizing is not a solution because at the end of the day the problems still remain unsolved and the issues are still there.

      Reply

      1. Please note that the contributor ‘ELMA’ is not Elma Gabriel as being transparent and standing up for what I believe in will forever be my principle.

  2. The revolution is broken. The revolution students this article speaks of are coming up from the primary system with huge holes that can’t be plugged while keeping the schedule required to finish secondary syllabuses. That is why they are usually placed in separate classes. Furthermore, it is irresponsible, overly idealistic and an unfounded generalization to suggest that separating them into a different stream diminishes their experience in any important way.

    These revolution students need a lot more resources in order to effectively bring them up to par with their more illustrious peers; resources that teachers aren’t given because the ministry can’t afford it.

    In a school, at each level, there are at least 30 students who are in this category. How should a single teacher teach for both sets of children at the same time? Classrooms are already stretched at more than 30 students per classroom. Maybe class sizes could be limited to 20 or so. Maybe team teaching could be the answer but that would need extra teachers who could give individual attention to struggling students. Maybe…

    Revolution students are academically challenged. It takes a lot of repetition and reinforcing to properly cement academic concepts in these kids leading to a huge time burden on teachers. There is simply not enough time to teach about both academics and life, not when teachers are assessed purely based on their coverage of the syllabus. See if you can figure out which students get left behind when it’s crunch time for teachers!

    These students also need more visual teaching. More classrooms need projectors and speakers. Again, funding?

    The revolution is a great idea but great ideas also need great execution and funding in order to deliver their promise. There are lots of issues here. I wish the author had formed his opinion after some stakeholder consultation to get a view of the reality of the situation instead of speaking to the idea in his head. Maybe next time.

    Reply

    1. Who is responsible for taking care of all of these “holes or gaps?” Where is the Ministry of Education in all of this? Have they sought out or endeavor to train the education officers in school administration? Simple positions as having education or school counselors to assist the children in career choices and the requirement in core courses in courses employment and future career research markets are non-existent., having adequate tools for use as visual aids, tools to build and production and proficiency, and to provide experience. I can still remember teaching without course outlines, syllabuses or even text book which should have been provided by the Ministry of Education and which were not so provided.

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  3. What “Education Revolution” Anthony? Is it the one that has given us our present crop of Bus drivers, conductors and Street-Market traders? The one that has given us the heads of institutions and their underlings and other moronic Civil servants here Anthony?

    As you are aware dear Anthony, meritocracy is the first thing to get jettisoned, along with good civic institutions when dictators rule, to be replaced by nepotism and cronyism my dear Anthony G. Stewart.

    The education ideal has not been functioning in SVG for quite some time now or have you not noticed this? This has been so ever since our country became the victim of the Gonsalves family.

    An Education Revolution in SVG dear fellow was a political slogan in name only. A slogan stolen from one Anthony Blair of the U.K. in 1993. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz2ENxjJxFw and never was intended as a real possibility in SVG, as the evidence here has since shown.

    “Blair’s infamous battling cry, the “education, education, education” pledge made at the Labour party conference in October 1996, seven months before sweeping to power in May 1997. “Ask me for my three main priorities for government and I tell you: education, education and education.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2003/aug/02/schools.uk1

    Just how Mr Blair’s education policy came to be part of the ULP’s folklore of unfulfilled promises is sure very obvious, it was a scam on our uneducated populace, who yearned and desire better to this very day. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/may/23/labour.tonyblair

    Reply

  4. I have just written a piece called An Education Revolution or a ULP Revulsion, hope Kenton can post it, he has left me locked in the wood shed recently.

    Reply

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