Education Minister Anthony Boatswain has dropped strong hints that more primary school students may be left back in the primary school system at the end of the school year in June 2014 if they are proved to be lacking.
Minister Boatswain who was speaking at a ceremony to honour the Grenada and OECS Courts Reading Champion, Dean Bedeau said that the school’s literacy and numeracy levels are very low.
He stated that too many students are entering the secondary school system without mastering the basics in literacy and numeracy, and by the time they reach Form 3, most of them drop out from school as they are unable to keep up with the competition.
“We must understand that literacy and numeracy are the basic pillars of which our educational system is being built,” he remarked.
According to the Education Minister, this problem resulted in a decision being taken at the end of the last school year to keep back a number of students from entering the secondary school system after the exit results were released.
“I want to assure you that as long as I am Minister of Education we will not allow students who cannot master the basics in literacy and numeracy to move forward into the secondary schools. It makes no sense because we will be doing those students a disservice…”, he said.
“…Therefore, I want to appeal to our teachers, those who are focused on the Early Childhood, please, we have to do better in preparing our children for higher levels of education,” he added.
In exams sat earlier this year for entry into the secondary schools, a total of 41 students were left back to better prepare themselves to move ahead in the education system.
The Education Minister spoke of the weak performance in mathematics being another area of major concern for the ministry.
He said with talk about moving into the scientific age, math is the foundation of all sciences.
Minister Boatswain challenged teachers to adopt creative ways in teaching maths so that the subject can become more friendly in the minds of the students.
Minister Boatswain referred to violence in the school as another major area of concern for his ministry.
He indicated that the majority of inmates housed at Her Majesty’s Prisons at Richmond Hill, St. George’s are between the ages of 18 and 26.
He said the sad fact is that it is costing the State much more to house someone at the prisons than to keep that individual in school.