THE EDITOR: It is very disappointing to read Prof Theodore Lewis saying he looked at the SEA results for 2019, published in the newspapers, and used Indian names as a proxy for the race of children. I consider it ludicrous for him to use the data to conclude that a greater percentage of East Indian students are placed in "prestige schools."
His method of data collection is seriously flawed, misleading and very inaccurate. He said his simple method shows a clear tendency for the "prestige" Hindu and Presbyterian schools to accept mainly children with Indian names. This is nonsense and should be condemned by the denominational schools which he named in his article.
My personal experience proves that the information from the researcher is totally incorrect. I am not a Hindu and my daughter is not an East Indian. She passed for a denominational school after she wrote the SEA a few years ago. I had no problem while she attended her secondary school. I have also visited Hindu schools along the East-West Corridor run by the SDMS and have seen children of African, Chinese and other races singing, dancing and playing musical instruments as part of the morning assembly.
I have seen children of African descent attending ASJA schools. If Prof Lewis wants people to agree with him that these schools are excluding African children routinely, he must present scientific data to support his views, not a list of East Indian names published in the newspapers. I can’t imagine how in the 21st century, in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society any researcher worth his salt would do such a thing to determine who are Indian children and who are African children.
Jennifer Marshal, Port of Spain