The Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) is all about the ability to cram at the highest level. You cram the questions and answers and then you cram some more in extra classes.

The unemployed and underemployed Afro-parents cannot afford the extra classes necessary for entry to the best secondary schools.

Some label Afro-children as extra stupid when it is poverty and the back stories in home life keeping them back. But what of the poor-quality teaching they receive? It is my unsolicited view that many principals and teachers need to look into the mirror and feel some shame.

Some teachers are dedi­cated; that’s excellent, but there are many in the profession strictly for the money and the long school holidays. It is my unsolicited view that the Teaching Service should never have been unionised. They got carried away with greed and not about teaching.

Teachers can elect to drag their feet or just stay home pretending illness. I have nothing against trade unions. What I do not like is that unions in Trinidad and Tobago salivate at control. The power play between unions and the Government over wages is what has bred an underperforming workforce in an underperforming T&T. We can do better.

Today, in 2020, the Hindu, Muslim and Presbyterian schools located in South and Central Trinidad outshine all others. Why? The children are no more intelligent compared to the rest of T&T.

That extra-bright label is a fallacy. They are the products of excellent, dedi­cated teaching. These schools all have the goal of performing well, and there is healthy, ongoing competition between them every school year.

Success in life and in teaching is about control. Failure is about overworking the glory of controlling the secondary school system via the trade union.

The SEA cramming format needs to be changed. Secondary schools need to diversify the options for graduates to encompass studying technology, the communication arts, hospitality and various trades.

Many Afro-Trini children with very high IQs get placed in poorly managed secondary schools. Some drop out early and make regrettable criminal history on social media.

Wasted brilliance lying dead in a coffin.

Lynette Joseph

Diego Martin


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