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April 28, 2008


Tim Roberts

I agree that there are many problems with our educational system, especially when you compare the public schools to the private schools (and I am not talking about the facilities provided).

First, the STANDARD we have in private schools should be mirrored in the public schools.

I have heard a Ministry of Education person say that private schools make the teachers lazy...why? Because, in a private school that has kindergarten classes, by the time they reach grade 1 they already know the alphabet etc... The MoE person saw this as a problem???
My daughter is 4 years old and is learning to read, doing phonics well, and is even writing spelling words instead of just orally for her test. she is 2 years away from grade 1.

Public schools need to up the standard a bit. The children will not fail, in fact I believe with more challenge the little ones will probably even excell.

That brings me to point two: We need the teachers to challenge and motivate the children in school, and especially the younger ones. If they don't develop a love for learning by the time they are in 4th or 5th grade, chances are they won't like it later.

And while I understand you are not negating the role of the parent by your argument, however, the parents role is still the most pivotal. It is seen all around the world. Where a parent is behind their child, encouraging, and showing concern for their education, the child is more likely to succeed.

Unfortunately, single parent homes are a huge problem in the Bahamas, and often that means the parent is working more than spending time with their children. This is the more difficult task; curb the occurance of single family homes.

EB Christen

Drastic measures are needed. Kids having kids needs to be stopped, either through a licensing program or through something more drastic. Society will simply continue to erode if serious measures aren't taken.

Your estimate of 25% is woefully low compared to the reality. I would venture that 50% of any graduating year coming out of the public school system is functionally illiterate in math and English. In 2008, that is a travesty! This is going to be an ever increasingly information based globally integrated economy, Bahamians must step up to secure their own futures. It is theirs for the taking and theirs to throw away.

The education system is dangerously failing, but the key to that failure is that delinquents and good students are forced to study in the same class. This policy must be abandoned. In an era where parents aren't discipling their children, you can't make the children of parents who do discipline suffer for the one's who don't. That needs to be changed ASAP. The best teachers, the best resources and the best minds together. The students who aren't focused and who aren't prepared to put in the effort can learn 'Junkanoo' and what not, but don't think that by teaching a Junkanoo based curriculum you are going to get engineers, doctors, scientists and other professionals. That can prevent the erosion and help to maintain and enhance the middle class in the near term. Once the situation is stabilized, then other solutions need to be sought as well.

What is needed more than anything else is a cultural shift in the mindset of the people in terms of the way that knowledge, information, literacy and wisdom are VALUED. We are a fast food nation whose ignorance, already profound, is growing exponentially with each decade. A culture of ignorance breeds religious fervour, as can be seen in many parts of the central United States and in the Middle East; it can also be seen, more and more, in the streets of Nassau. People are increasingly either 'lost' or 'saved', but there is less and less of a healthy middle ground. Education and enlightenment are essential to the proper functioning of a modern democracy. Modern societies can ill afford to walk the ignorance path for too long. The writing is on the wall. Bahamians need to stop the slide now or face a Jamaican melt down.


Once upon a time, a long long time ago, schools like GHS or SAC could claim a large portion of the credit for the good citizens they produced. But not today. Not by a long shot.

Today, parents and family are the cause of all Success and Failure.

Also, illegal immigrants have the ability to truly realize how much better off they are here. So they are willing to work much more for much less. And many of us know of some who started off broke but now we wish we had what they have.

And a high-school drop out from Canada, most of Europe, India, Canada, and most of the USA is probably a hell of a lot more educated than any Bahamian high-school drop out and even some who graduated.

....GOD! I wish there was something else interesting about this country besides effing Junkanoo.

"Hey, we need to do something Fresh and New! Any ideas? It needs to be something different and exiting."

"Umm..... Junkanoo?"

Oh, and speaking of "lack of education"...... My mother things most of the world's rice is grown in Australia. Her devout christian coworkers think the christian church came before Jesus Christ. And a surprising number of people around here agree that Goliath was a Roman soldier :(

If her and her friends are any indication, we can't rely on many parents to take a role in educating their child. They hopefully can pick up the slack on the discipline and moral issues but assisting with education is out of the question. The schools need to be improved.

I agree with EB. If it's a bad idea to put white collar criminals and gang members in the same prison then it's also a bad idea to put good kids with the bad. And by 'lost' or 'saved' do you really mean PLP or FNM?

We do live in a culture of ignorance. Anything with more than 4 steps (no matter how simple) is too complicated for many. Children (boys) with actual interest in school are labeled as gay nerds. Educated adults attempting to teach them something interesting that they'll never learn in normal school are labelled as gay nerds. Taking time out of your day to learn anything other than construction, auto mechanics, fishing and such can get you labelled as "acting white", nerd and gay. It doesn't take much for people in my age bracket to start treating you like "Steve Urkell" and nobody wants to be that guy.


Hi all,

It's a mixture of both I reckon. Both education, at least the public schools, and, parents- the latter, if they are unqualified, which there still are many in this country, fair much worse when faced with raising a child in or out of wedlock.

That being said, education and the school system, is the stop gap that catches these individuals, who may have talent, but, whose home structure is not as sound as we would like it. That is not just the home structure of poor folks, but the structure of even middle to upper middle class folks.

The school system should liberate and not be as rigid as it is now. 9-5 with little or no diversification after it. That's really bad.

So, while we are all finger pointing, we should really look into making the thing we can change- public education- slightly better for at least a greater majority.




I have always believed that my childrens education was my responsibility, and that I pay for the services of a school to teach them the academic fundamentals for me.
Their reasoning skills, ethics, nurturing and exposure to the world, are my primary concern, that is, if I wish to produce thinking, responsible, law abiding adults.
We must stop smoothing over the fact that People raise their children and are responsible for the results, not society.
Society does not kill people, people kill people.

EB Christen


No, I didn't mean FNM or PLP, when I said 'lost' or 'saved'. In that section, I was talking about religion in this country. However, it could apply to any set of extremes, since the unhealthiness of extremes is really the point I am trying to make. People are either running into abandon or fervently into the arms of religion. Likewise, they either think the FNM or the PLP is their saving grace. The truth is that neither is true. What is missing is that healthy middle ground and that healthy middle ground is precisely what is cultivated by education.

'If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from...'

Too many in this country have no sense of an 'objective' history... again, lack of balance. It is quality education and a strong cultural value on knowledge and learning that can bring about a substantial change, but, for now, we want our cars, cheap gas, KFC daily and church on Sunday and that is that.


Hi C. Lowe,

If this was being done in the majority of the homes, we would be doing better.

What has the government done, or, the markets done, to give people the opportunity to focus on their families?

School has to develop into something more than just reading and writing. In fact, most developed countries, have taken this responsibility to ensure that their people can compete in today's market- they set the public and market place, they need to give the people the proper tools to rationalize decisions effectively!

Now, if you do that for your kids, then, fine. Continue on. Most people are not there and we need to target that.



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