Archive for the 'Education' Category

Diversity Matters

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 29, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn 2003 I fought a doggedly battle to convince educators at (The University of the West Indies) that grades and standardized tests should not be the only criteria for selecting students to enter our university. Many people castigated me and a few called me a racist. Morgan Job bleated: “If Selwyn Cudjoe’s racist quota is implemented, UWI will have semi-illiterate African lecturers teaching illiterate students. They will go into the classrooms, the Public Service and police to compound the problems which plague the nation, and are a necessary consequence of the blight of mediocrity we have nurtured and promoted” (Trinidad Guardian, August 21, 2003).
Continue reading ‘Diversity Matters’

Public Enquiry needed into the Education System

By Dr Tye Salandy
October 09, 2019

Dr Tye SalandyTwenty years ago, in 1999, young Clivia Jones went to school with a modest cornrow hairstyle only to be told by the Corpus Christi principal to fix her hair or stay home. This incident came to mind when I read of two recent incidents that have been highlighted recently within T&T’s education system. The first incident was the teacher in a POS school spewing racist and classist statements. The second incident is the issue of the student at the south Anglican school who complained about being harassed for wearing her natural hair in Bantu knots, twists and cornrows. From my own experience in the education system as a student, educator and researcher, issues of discrimination, abuse and damaging approaches to differences are deeply entrenched across the education system. This is so despite the actions of some dedicated and fairminded teachers and administrators to do better.
Continue reading ‘Public Enquiry needed into the Education System’

Obeahing the Word

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 08, 2019

“Can there be a national life without a national literature?”

—Jose Marti

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMarina Warner, a distinguished English writer of Trinidadian provenance and professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, read from her work, Fly Away Home, at the Bocas Lit Fest on Thursday. She argued, with tremendous encouragement from the audience, that imaginative literature possesses the capacity to capture dimensions of a society’s unconscious in ways that realist fiction seldom does.
Continue reading ‘Obeahing the Word’

Presentation Chaguanas at 60

By Raffique Shah
April 12, 2019

Raffique ShahWhen the pupils and staff of Presentation College, Chaguanas, return to classes in two weeks, their prime focus will be on major examinations at the end of the academic year—promotions exams for those in the junior and intermediate forms, and CSEC and CAPE for those who are transitioning to the upper reaches of secondary level education and those who will enter universities.
Continue reading ‘Presentation Chaguanas at 60’

Celebrating An Educational Template of Presbyterian

By Stephen Kangal
March 23, 2019

Stephen KangalOn the occasion of the observance of 150 years of Canadian Presbyterianism introduced by Dr John Morton in 1868 into Trinidad to rescue the rurally- isolated and marginalised sugar- working indentures from educational neglect and English illiteracy it is right to celebrate, emulate and imitate this rich template of multidisciplinary excellence achieved by the high- performing schools administered by this small and dwindling denominational organization.

However while the educational platform built by this small church largely through volunteerism is a success story its primary evangelical component suffers from increasing statistical decline.
Continue reading ‘Celebrating An Educational Template of Presbyterian’

Cultural Policy and National Development

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Posted: March 16, 2019

A lecture delivered at the Public Library of Trinidad and Tobago, Adult Education Program, January 11, 1983. This lecture can be located at the Trinidad Public Library, Port of Spain, under the call number Ref. W.I. 308, Cudjoe (Trinidad Collection, January 1983). Slight editorial changes have been made to the original document for this publication.

Introduction

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBecause slavery and colonialism meant the economic, political, and cultural enslavement of our people, the transition from colonial to genuine independence must, of necessity, concern itself with the economic, political, and cultural transformation of our peoples. In fact, it seems to me, that we cannot speak of any meaningful transition, any authentic expression of the national soul/spirit unless we give some serious consideration to these aspects of our national development: none of which, I’m afraid, has been given any serious consideration by our present government in Trinidad and Tobago. This evening, I will concern myself with what I have termed cultural policy and the manner in which it conduces to national development in Trinidad and Tobago.
Continue reading ‘Cultural Policy and National Development’

What Constitutes an Educated Trini?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 04, 2019

PART 2

“The school curriculum is not delivering the quality of individual we need to build the nation.”

—Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeNeal Phillip, professor and chairman of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at Bronx Community College, City University of New York (CUNY), wrote the following article, “Preparing Students to enter a 21st Century Workforce,” at my instigation. I wanted to follow through on suggestions to improve high school education in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). I reproduce Professor Phillip’s article with a few editorial changes.
Continue reading ‘What Constitutes an Educated Trini?’

What Constitutes an Educated Trini?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 15, 2019

PART 1

“The school curriculum is not delivering the quality individuals we need to build the nation.”

—Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA nation always needs a leader who is willing to call it as she sees it. Paula-Mae Weekes, T&T’s president, is not afraid to play that role. Her latest intervention in the island’s political and social discourse occurred on Tuesday when she offered her views on how badly our education system is doing in preparing our citizens for life in the republic.

President Weekes believes the education system has failed in its responsibility to our children and our leaders. She didn’t call it a fraudulent system, but she left her listeners with that impression. The fact that she is an experienced judicial educator and was a fellow at the Commonwealth Juridical Educational Institute lent credence to her observations.
Continue reading ‘What Constitutes an Educated Trini?’

Reparatory Justice

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 04, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Jamaica Gleaner, it is true, was impetuous. On November 25 it announced that the University of Glasgow (UG) and the University of the West Indies had reached an agreement regarding reparative justice. According to the Gleaner, UG had agreed to pay “£200 million (approximately J$34 billion) of value in reparation payments to The UWI.”
Continue reading ‘Reparatory Justice’

The Incredible Dream

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 12, 2018

PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen enslaved Africans (they were the majority population then) won their full freedom in 1838, there was an urgent need to establish an educational system that combined their ways of knowing with the needs of the dominant colonial class. Sir Henry MacLeod, governor of the island, sent the following dispatch to Lord Stanley, the Secretary of State: “I should submit to Your Lordship that there never was a country where some general situation of education was more required than in Trinidad” (May 1, 1840).
Continue reading ‘The Incredible Dream’