NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Activist and veteran teacher Joe Darville yesterday supported calls for the government to improve education within the public-school system.
In a press statement, Darville underscored several factors he believes are counterproductive to “education excellence”.
He furthered the state of the country’s young skilled population is “lamentable”, adding it was a phenomenon that begins in the home and should therefore be addressed by parents.
A self-proclaimed ‘life-long educator’, Darville said that teachers spend at least one third of their time disciplining non-motivated students.
“Many of these children come from one-parent families, mainly that one person being a dear mother,” he said.
“So, certainly, much of this lament facing education begins right in the home.”
He added the excessive use of cell-phones is another powerful factor that hampers any effort towards educational advancement.
“They walk or ride to school with these instruments in use; they walk from school with them; but, believe me, they are not using them for research, doing home work, or even checking Google for any information.
“Again, this is a home-based phenomenon, which can only be addressed by parents.”
The brain drain in the country has remained the subject of intense discourse in recent times.
According to Darville, the issue can be attributed to there being “little to no effort made by our country to attempt to attract these bright and skilled minds back to their homeland”.
“Literally thousands of them obtain outstanding positions and excellent paying jobs abroad; thus, their needs are satisfied and they only come back for regular vacation,” he continued.
“The more brilliant minds from public and private schools, who are blessed with the opportunity to seek further education abroad, especially in the US, the majority of them do not return.
They say, most of them, there is nothing for them to come back for,” he said.
Darville expressed that while there is nothing amiss with the education system “content-wise”, proper materials must be provided to facilitate 21 st century academics.
He reinforced his stance that the administering of discipline should first be undertaken by parents outside of the classroom to allow for better conduct within the classroom sphere.
“Teachers are there to teach and not employed as custodian officers. They can barely survive on their teaching salary. Thus, attract and pay properly the best minds to deal with our children.”
“Thirdly, a definitive attempt must be made to attract back home our brightest minds. Then, and only then, will we be able to boast that within the level of ninety-four percent employment, we can have the brightest minds, the most skilled and those with passion for nation building.”
Darville’s comments came on the heels of comments made by Robert Myers, the Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) principal.
Myers urged the government to do more to improve the level of education in the public school system “so that young adults are suitably equipped with the cognitive, social and basic skills required to meet current employment needs”.
Myers said The current lack of these skills is a massive problem for the government and the private sector.