PRIMARY school students are being burnt out by lessons for which teachers are profiting, says Independent Senator Melissa Ramkissoon.
She was contributing to debate on the Variation of Appropriation bill in the Senate on Tuesday night. Ramkissoon said there was an increase of $159 million for education, which had the second highest allocation in the national budget, to pay arrears for salaries and Cost Of Living Allowance for primary education.
“I never really hear the Minister of Education or any of the ministers really speak about what is going on in our primary schools today. Has an evaluation or analysis been done on our primary school education? And it’s like an elephant in the room because we are burning out our primary school students. Madam President what does a standard one child have to go to lessons for? And it is not one or two like the slow children; an entire class. And if they don’t go they are victimised.” She said a parent told her, students have to go for lessons half an hour before school starts and then an hour-and-a-half after school.
“That is what we are doing to our primary school students.”
She said she understands teachers demanding more money because of what they have to deal with.
“But also, at what level are we just allowing teachers to just do as they please?”
She questioned who was paying for the additional cost for the school to have the lights on to conduct extra lessons and added it was the parents and not the ministry who were paying for the lessons.
“Is primary school education not free? I could understand standard four and standard five and the push for SEA. But what do standard one, standard two, standard three children have to do that they have entire classes now forced to go to lessons.”