Sat 9th Apr 2005
Male only primary schools will reduce serious crimes in SVG
The girls high school and the boys grammar school have been a tremendous education success for SVG. Why have the policy makers at the Ministry of Education not built male only and female only primary schools?
The 1991 Population and Housing Census report tells us there is an urgent need for positive steps to be taken to help males in SVG primary schools. SVG Green Party will introduce more single sex schools at the primary level. The attendance of males and females is about even at the primary school level (12,495 males, 11,810 females). Females, however, outnumber males at the secondary levels at a ratio of 1.5 to 1 (4,156 females, 2,293 males).
Significant defects in the SVG multi-sex primary schools for males
The Census report also revealed there were no significant changes in 1980 and 1991 in the male to female ratio of pre-school to secondary school enrolment between the census periods. In other words, the present primary school environment does not negatively affect females. The statistics show a smooth transfer of males and females from pre-school to primary school. However, there is a significant drop-off of males from primary school to secondary school. An in-depth analysis of the likely variables that cause a very high drop-off of males from primary to secondary school, points to the urgent need for single sex primary schools for males only.
Co-relation between serious crime and sub-standard primary school education for males
Serious crime in SVG is a gender-biased problem, in that, serious crimes are more likely to be committed by males. Statistics show that most males who have committed serious crimes have received a sub-standard level of primary school education. This is critical information for policy makers to implement policies to cut serious crimes.
Universal secondary education teaching children to run when they cannot walk
The ULP regime has leapfrogged primary school education and has embarked upon universal secondary school education. This policy will not eradicate illiteracy, poverty and serious crimes committed by males. It is fair to say that the ULP has shown so many weaknesses in managing the affairs of SVG, that it is difficult to identify any ULP strengths. They are not moving SVG forward. Under ULP management, SVG is like a ship at sea without a rudder wondering aimlessly!
Recommended solution to cut serious crime in SVG
We have in SVG a high propensity to react to the symptoms of serious crimes, but a low propensity to be pro-active in dealing with the causes of serious crime. We have a choice to build primary schools for males only and provide all males with a full complement of primary school education, or, to continue with the present primary school education structure, which is not conducive to educating our males. If we continue with the status quo, we face the inevitable high rates of serious crimes for the long-term.
Ivan O'Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA
Leader and co-founder SVG Green Party.