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Math stats don't add up

Ministry of Education officials in Antigua seem to have one answer to every problem that faces the schools and student performance: teachers. Whatever the question, the all-encompassing answer seems to be: teachers.

Well, it is high time that these officials stop pretending that they have education as a priority and as a national issue, devoid of the insipid, political noises. It is very disheartening to hear government officials using the same convenient trite gobbledygook to excuse their failure to think deeply about the issue of education and to consult honestly with the true experts in education, the teachers.

Bottom of hierarchy

As the system is structured right now, the teachers are at the bottom of the very hierarchical educational structure and they are required to accept, without question, every directive from people who have long forgotten what it was to be a teacher or from people who have never had any desire to teach, but who are sure they are better teachers than the teacher who has to teach 40 unruly and indiscipline students.

It is always very easy to talk negatively about teachers while sitting at your desk in an air conditioned room while earning three or four or even five times as much as the classroom teacher.

It is the easiest thing to criticise a teacher when at the start of every year, school supplies are weeks late; while repairs to school premises have not been done and while critical staffing problems receive little considerations for months.

Let us stop the finger pointing and ask a teacher who is honestly committed to improving education in all areas, but especially in mathematics.

We have done the usual inanities for decades; let us now make a genuine effort, including adequate funding, to improve education in Antigua and Barbuda and the region, as a whole. It is time!

— Hezekiah Lewis

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