THE EDITOR: After two days of public consultation on the SEA and the Concordat, how does the Ministry of Education feel about its conduct of this stage of the process?
In this fundamentally and rapidly changing world, we should expect that any public institution seeking to engender public discourse on the need to restructure its services to meet the needs of citizens would transparently evaluate its own functioning, at least over the last ten to 25 years, in order to legitimise its role in conducting the public conversation.
Moreover, we should expect that participants in the conversation would advance their own interests, but it would be dangerously counterproductive if they were not allowed to revisit their stated position in light of the experience, perspectives, needs and shared visions of the other spokespeople and, most importantly, those who did not have any voice in the conversation.
Failure to engender this process will deny participants the opportunity to grow out of their own self-defined boxes to become more of what we all should be. This failure will also give victory to those who are determined to retain this painfully inadequate status quo with its delusional claims of being world-class.
So some organisers would be as proud as punch that representatives of the prestige schools/denominational boards got a chance to strut their stuff to a largely adoring and uncritical audience oblivious to the fact that these boards have steadfastly opposed every major curriculum initiative proposed by the ministry, from vocational education, CXC general and basic proficiency, to CAPE and family life education, to address the very real issues that have historically plagued us.
By compartmentalising the issues they have also blindsided the audience to the inherent disconnect between the written curriculum and the SEA. Superficially conforming to the language of modern curriculum theory and practice but stubbornly retaining a segmented standardised textbook regime, ministry officials are presiding over the most wasteful expenditure of millions of dollars at the expense of our children’s educational progress.
This is so annoyingly shameful, even God must be crying.