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Concern about students

Wade Gibbons

Concern about students

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Some children in Barbados’ school system appear to be suffering from psychological problems, says Opposition MP Gline Clarke.
And during his contribution to debate on the Education head in the 2011-2012 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, Clarke called on Government to get to the root of the problems that might exist.
He said there might be a need for continuous assessment of children in areas beyond academics, including health and social circumstances.
The St George North MP suggested that the ratio of students to teachers might be part of the problem, questioning whether a ratio of one teacher to as many as 28 students wasan ideal situation.
Clarke said Government should consider introducing teacher aides to assist teachers, whether theywere drawn from within Government or were volunteer parents. Government backbencher Kenny Best also echoed Clarke’s comments. He said greater attention had to be paid to early education and called for constant monitoring of children by qualified psychologists.
Best said too many children were “slipping through the cracks” and suggested that the school leaving age be moved to 18.
During his contribution, Minister of Health Donville Inniss said that what was happening in the schools mirrored the deviant and ill-disciplined behaviour occurring in wider society. He said education could not start and end merely in the classrooms. The St James South MP called for the school system to place greater emphasis on entrepreneurship.