“Four out of ten Anglican and Catholic Schools are underperforming. One of out five Presbyterian schools is underperforming. The Maha Sabha schools they stumped in the middle with average performance. The ASJA is doing the best,
The interview with the minister was done after Prince Edward of the UK visited the Belmont boys Roman Catholic Primary School. The minister mentioned that he was to have a meeting with the denominational school boards to discuss the schools management:
He said of the nation’s 456 primary schools, 350 are denominational while 43 out of the 152 secondary schools are denominational.
The minister said the Government pays for their principals, teachers, bills and repairs.
As such, he says there needs to be a review of their management practices as he is expressing concerns about the performance of these schools.
Goopeesingh added: “When we have less than one per cent of our students in the SEA making more than 95, only six per cent making more than 90, and one out of two students failing to get 50 per cent and this has been continuing for seven years now. this is unacceptable.”
Now a report from the ministry of March 2011 (last year), says that less children are writing the SEA exam. This is because children are being held back because they are not up to standard and because of lower enrollments. The report noted that there were 4000 students less in 2011 than there was in 2001. In 2011, 17327 children wrote the SEA exam. A 19% drop. Almost one fifth less. Wow!
The question is with less students, should not the teachers perform better at teaching? What is going on in the schools? The teachers are probably blaming the children and their parents. There should be a proper investigation into the matter. 9000 children not achieving 50% in the exam is awful.
You know the funny thing is that the Ministry of Education issued a report on the SEA exam for the period 2001-2004 in which it showed that many students failed in achieving the national Mean of 200 points. I wonder what was done then, or between now and then to address the issue?
Well the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) got involved in 2006 to 2008 to help with institutional strengthening and capacity building support in the education system in Trinidad. Maybe their programmes did not help.
Maybe Doctor Tim Gopeesingh has some good ideas, maybe he doesn't.... I am watching. Let's see what will happen.