ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, SEPTEMBER 3, 2018, CARIBBEAN YOUNG DEMOCRATIC UNION (CYDU)- The Caribbean Young Democrat Union (CYDU), the youth wing of parent organization Caribbean Democratic Union, an alliance of likeminded political parties in the region, hosted a Social Media interaction on August 29, 2018. The topic of discussion was the 2018 CSEC results, particularly in relation to 11,000 students receiving zero passes in any subjects. The event was streamed live via their Facebook page and was viewed by over 1500 people across the regions.
The panel comprised of representatives from the various political party youth arms across the region, professionals in the education sector and was moderated by Chairman of the CYDU, Mr. Johnny Calliste from Grenada.
Panelists included Mr. Willan Mark, PRO and General Secretary-Grenada, Mr. Luchiano Dupuis, Vice. Chair for Training and Recruitment-Dominica, Ms. Sherline Theodule, Vice. Chair for Women and Minorities-St. Lucia, Mr. Juan Miguel-Belize, Ms. Kimi-Lee Knight-St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr. Akio Lloyd-Anguilla, Nick Francis, General Secretary of the Caribbean Democratic Union (CDU)-St.Vincent and the Grenadines. The panelist highlighted that, while the general performance among students improved regionally, the number of persons receiving no passes was indeed troubling.
A general sentiment that was shared among persons from all the Islands was, that the introduction of Universal Education some years ago was the most prominent contributing factor. It was noted that the “up up and out” approach which is used as part of the UE system, has resulted in poor performance among some students. In addition, the education system and learning curriculum does not adequately provide support for slow students.
With the current system, all students are expected to learn at the same pace using a “one size fit all” approach. The underlying recommendation that was made the panelist was the urgent need to review and reform the education system on every Island.
Additionally, it was suggested that every child entering primary School be assessed to ascertain their learning style. Recognizing that every student learns differently, curricula must be designed to promote individualized learning. All panelists agreed the implementation of such recommendations will require significant resources, time and political will by Governments.
The CYDU is committed to creating a space for youth participation in politics and decision making through dialogue and advocacy. The achievement of number four (4) of the UN’s sustainable development goals which speaks to quality education is therefore a major platform for the CYDU’s organizational mandate.
The CYDU membership includes Belize, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The organization is in the process of planning another online discussion on the topic “The Advancement of Caribbean Women in Politics” to be held in October 2018.