In a letter in THE VINCENTIAN newspaper of 9th July 2021, a patriotic SVG teacher highlighted serious concerns about the education system in our country. It is very disturbing and alarming to hear that so many of our children have been failed by the ULP regime’s so called ‘education revolution’.
The teacher says, ‘I wish to bring national attention and outcry to the serious plight of illiteracy in our schools. During this week of National Diagnostic Reading Assessment, it has become glaringly clear that students are struggling to read, and in many cases just cannot read.’
This is a truly sad situation and will seriously affect the life opportunities of the children who have been failed. People who cannot read, or can barely read, are less likely to pass exams and so, less likely to get a university education and a highly-paid job.
When the ULP regime came to power there was a focus on prison – and not enough focus on education. We saw the Belle Isle prison being built. There is too much focus on locking up our people, rather than educating them.
Since its inception, SVG Green Party has said that SVG needs to create a world-class education system for our children, and provide free education for all from preschool to our own university. The ULP regime has failed to do so and the fallout from this we see all around us. Many of our children cannot read, many do not finish school and get decent qualifications, and many end up in prison.
We have had a generation of failure in education provision by the ULP regime and that has led to more young people going to jail, high unemployment and a high level of crime.
As the teacher indicated, illiteracy is killing our nation and it consigns illiterate people to a lifetime of poverty. Widespread illiteracy has been created by ULP regime’s failure and poor governance.
The ULP regime’s poor quality education system has moved SVG from paradise to slum, whereas Singapore’s high-quality education system has moved Singapore from slum to a World Bank success story.
Using education as the foundation of the SVG economy and following Singapore’s example is the best way forward. Singapore has the highest percentage of millionaire households as a share of a country’s total households at 15.5%; Singapore is ranked as the most attractive country for foreign investors in the Asia-Pacific region and attracts 52% of foreign investment in its region; Singapore topped the charts for highest GDP per capita in 2010 at close to EC$152,636 and is expected to continue to be the global leader until 2050; Singapore has a GDP of EC$810 billion; Singapore has a very low unemployment rate of 1.9%; more than 70% of Singapore resident non-students aged 25-34 have a university education.
The quality of lifestyle we want for our children in SVG will depend on the quality of education they get. There can be no doubt that under the ULP regime our country is in shambles, thus it is not surprising a teacher points out the alarming fact that many school children just cannot read!
According to The Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, the ULP regime is hopeless at governing SVG and could never give our children the world-class education system they deserve and need.
The teacher is right: ‘How could we think that this is acceptable?’