The Bequia Community High School has been singled out as a disturbing example of the state of the education sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In a prime time address last Wednesday to discuss education, Opposition Leader Dr Godwin Friday who is parliamentary representative for Bequia in his Northern Grenadines constituency highlighted what he says is a worrying picture.
He said in the national address:
“The full picture is troubling as far too many secondary school students do not make it to graduation within the normal five years or ever. For example, at my Alma mater the Bequia Community High school this year, the principal reported at the graduation ceremony that of 21 students who started in form one only three made it to the graduation class of 2022, which had a total of 12 students.”
“This is not a unique situation. Other schools across the country have poor graduation numbers. They are not getting the support they need from government. Consequently. They are failing our children St. Vincent and the Grenadines has one of the highest rates of repeaters and dropouts in the OECS. This is a serious problem. That must be fixed urgently.”
The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) has also recently expressed concern about the low graduation trend across the region. The examination body has been developing a programme to deal with the situation.
CXC Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Wayne Wesley, addressing the release of CXC 2022 results in St. Lucia said:
“We are concerned that there are a great number of students leaving the education system without certification. Consequently we have designed our citizenship and technical education certificate (CTEC) which is currently being piloted in Montserrat, some other countries like Jamaica and Guyana.”
Wesley said CTEC is geared towards inculcating strong moral character and life technical skills that will equip graduates with the skills necessary to perform in society.
“We are preparing students for the 21st century to take advantage of the economic opportunities that will come and in so doing experience a better quality of life. Your dreams, your aspirations is what we are facilitating,” he added.