Slow Learners Neglected

by Angela Goring

Primary School Children
Mr.Stewart Russell , a retired educator,  who has been intimately involved with teachers, teaching and their modalities for decades, recently wrote in our blog, that Barbados has a cadre of fine teaching professionals. I have great respect for his observations.

Education in Barbados is still being looked after by persons suffering from myopia. Of course, it takes all types to make up this world.  Academia is not the be all and end all of life today nor was it before either.  It was drilled into our heads that we needed to go to school and learn well, so that we may acquire ' a good' job. What is a good job anyway? So we all went to school; those bright sparks were places in the front seats and the others were relegated to the back because they were slow learners.  At the end of schooling, the bright sparks went off to the universities to become the doctors and lawyers that everyone looked up to.   The slower ones were taught "a trade", as it was called in those days, in order to make a living. But, guess what- neither group can exist without each another!  The trades people were looked upon as underachievers.

It is time now for the first responders in education, to put their prescription spectacles on, and look closely at re-teaching and re-tooling, to equip our students for the 21st century.  During the early years of the 1900's, Rawle Parkinson, understood the need for education reform and by adding subjects such as: carpentry, printing, shoe making and music to his school's curriculum, he was able to provide his charges with a more balanced educational experience.
For some time now it has been bandied about that our educational system needs reforming. I do not consider it a case of people not knowing what to do but merely not wanting to upset the class structures that exist in our country.
Each little one  born into this world has been endowed with gifts and skills which need to be harnessed and developed. They are shouting and crying out for help. No one hears their voices!
So to all of those persons in positions to make a difference, Wake up and stop  our slow learners from  falling through the cracks.

Angela Goring, is the owner of Ryannne’s Restaurant, Bridgetown Barbados. She is also the owner of AMAS Productions, a culture/entertainment promotions business

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