I was born in a time when elitist education was the order of the day (1970s). Currently, both globally and locally, there is a move to increase access to education. There will definitely be a compromise on quality in most western educational institutions.
Belize and most of the Caribbean cannot afford to lose at least about 25 % of our youth, who never get a tertiary education in a modern world that will require advanced training beyond high school. However, the schools’ modus operandi are designed for students like I was — a non-violent student with a good academic background and supportive mom.
Many modern students have a weak academic background, often do not have supportive parents, and are more aggressive and outspoken.
As an educator, I read omnivorously, and it gives insight, but reality is harder than theory. The solution is more remedial work to address students’ deficiency, and more conflict resolution training for teachers and other faculty.
This is a start, but as you implement, you improve. There are many other changes, such as teaching with technology, but let us do something instead of continuing the status quo and wondering why there are thousands of gang members in Belize. Do something different!
Most educators believe that strict discipline is essential for academic success, and it’s true, but that locks out the majority. We can no longer build a world with a tiny ruling elite, then use police force to suppress the unsuccessful aspirant who turns to crime when statistically, the results were predictable – madness!
Brian E. Plummer