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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000


those classes in the junior secondary and comprehensive schools, and you wonder if they could ever pass the Common Entrance Examination, and they are writing the 14-plus examination.

I am talking about material. These teachers are a frustrated lot in the Junior Secondary and Comprehensive schools. They have very bad material. Maybe the day is going to come, in fact, it is here when what we are looking at now is that the feeder schools to the secondary school system are the primary schools. The Government is saying that something is wrong with the primary school system, that is why there is the shake-up in the qualifying examination from primary to secondary.

What we are doing these days is looking at pre-school education. If something is happening at the secondary level, then what is happening to the feeder schools? You look at the primary schools and you realize that something is wrong; with about 20,000 students, I am just saying 10,000 for the prestige schools. What is happening to 20,000 students? Have they been probably drop-outs in the primary schools, but we have to fit them into a system, so now we are making five-year schools? What is going to happen? We are going to have the same problems.

Even if we de-shift all the schools as we will be doing in September coming, you are going to have the same problem. [Interruption] You are looking at your material again? You are phasing them out? All right, but something is wrong.

Sen. Prof. Spence: Mr. President, I just wanted to support what the hon. Senator was saying. In my first budget contribution in this Senate, I demonstrated that a prestige school—which I would not name now—is, in fact, performing very badly, because it got excellent material and could not bring all of those superior students through to get five O’ levels.

Sen. Rev. D. Teelucksingh: It is teatime. [Laughter]

Mr. President, I want to support the Bill. I have studied this Bill, because I realized that it would take us another decade to find an answer to some of the problems we have. In fact, when you get into power again, you would have just started. [Laughter] Let us be honest. [Interruption] Yes, I will close in a while. I really believe—[Interruption]—no, I hear you saying that, I was just quoting one of you about getting into power.

I suspect that this Bill arose out of a need to deal with what I would call a “two-headed monster” that has created havoc in our schools within recent times, and that is indiscipline and vandalism. If it had not been for indiscipline in the

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