Category Archives: Education

In Defense of Teachers

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 29, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAlberta Smith (not her real name), my dear friend, has been a primary school teacher for thirty years. She didn’t like last week’s article and didn’t put water in her mouth to tell me so. She sent the following response which I was free to reproduce once I omitted her real name. She wrote:
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“All Ah We in This Together…”

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 20, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAs a teacher, I was interested in the exchange between Anthony Garcia, the minister of education (MOE), and Antonia De Freitas, president of the TTUTA, with regard to how best to continue teaching our nation’s pupils while schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The MOE wanted to “determine the extent to which students had access to learning materials while schools were closed” (Newsday, April 11) so it could determine the best platform to deliver online teaching for our pupils.
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Responding to the  Alleged Conspiracy Against  African Students

By Stephen Kangal
March 04, 2020

Stephen KangalQuestions and Legitimate Concerns for the High-Powered Authors of the Statement on the Education of Children of African Origin
(First Published in the Express of 24 and 25 January and 5 and 6 February 2020 in the Newsday)

The foregoing list of questions and concerns is geared to be succinct in my reply. I cannot address all the mentioned points in full in the interest of brevity. These authors dealt with cosmetics and were unfair to the thinking community of T&T.
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Rethinking Our Approach to Education

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 24, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeEducation has an important role to play in getting us out of the degenerating situation in which we find ourselves. By education I do not mean the mere acquisition of mathematical and scientific knowledge and reading skills. I also mean the cultivation of an inner faculty that allows us, individually and collectively, to act purposefully within the social whole.

I was excited when Dr. Roland G. Baptiste, chairman of the Catholic Education Board of Management, in speaking about the performance of the Catholic schools under his remit, observed: “I left St. Mary’s College many years ago, and I believe at this time of my life that the most important aspect of my education [was/is]…the system of values the school left with me” (Express, February 18].
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First World, not failed state

By Raffique Shah
December 06, 2019

Raffique ShahTrinidad and Tobago is not now a failed state as many people claim it is. But it is precariously positioned at critical crossroads where, should the government and the populace take the wrong path or worse, stay put and do nothing, the country can descend into an abyss that would reduce the economy and the social fabric that has thus far held us together as a model nation to nothingness.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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