An Education Revolution

The Saint Lucia Labour Party intends to revolutionize the education system in our next term in government. In our previous term we implemented Universal Secondary Education and abolished the shift system in primary schools. We have already stated that it is our goal to have Universal Pre-School Education by 2015. However, we also plan to make significant improvements at the primary and secondary school levels.

At the primary level, we will use the results of the Minimum Standards Test at Grades 2, 4 and 9 to identify those students who need remedial action and ensure that they receive support in their areas of weakness, long before they sit their final exams. We will also work with the CXC to replace the Common Entrance Examination with a standardized Primary School Exit Examination, which will be based on a curriculum that is more in keeping with the demands of a modern, knowledge-based, technologically-driven, connected environment.

An SLP government will provide free vision and hearing tests to every child entering primary and secondary school so that we can identify any ailments that may affect learning outcomes. We also want to ease the financial burden on families whose children graduate from primary to secondary school, so we will provide a one-off bursary of $500 per student to eligible parents at the start of the first year in secondary school.

We do not believe that our secondary school system should operate on the basis of a one-size-fits-all system. We are very concerned about the low pass rates in mathematics and English and high drop-out rates among boys after Third Form. Therefore, again working with the CXC, we will undertake a comprehensive review of our secondary education system to ensure that our boys stay in school and graduate and more of our children leave school with better grades and a higher quality education.

During our next term of office, we will provide a laptop computer to every child on entry into Fourth Form. Additionally, we will ensure that every school on the island has free wireless internet service. An SLP government will expand the school feeding and book bursary/rental programmes, and will assist those parents who are unable to meet the costs of CXC examinations.

A Labour government will support the formation of after-school clubs and we will encourage volunteers and the private sector to participate in youth mentoring and homework assistance programmes, particularly in vulnerable communities. It will be our goal to ensure that our education system prepares our children for employment and for life as engaged and constructive citizens.

Better Days are Coming!