In her Throne Speech entitled “Sowing The Seeds Of Opportunity” Governor General of Saint Lucia Dame Pearlette Louisy spoke of her governments’ plans to tackle the ever persistent problem of providing quality education to the people of Saint Lucia.
She said: “The current system places students into secondary schools purely on grades with no consideration to where the child lives unless on their own deliberate choice. This system has come under some criticism in the past for its inadequacies and the time has come for a change. The time has come when we must change such an inefficient system of placement, which puts the burden on parents and on the state to transport students for many miles to schools outside of their communities.
“Currently there exist cases where students from the south travel daily to attain an education in the north which most times is a financial burden. Government intends to further equitize resources and human capital to remove the impression that certain schools are better than others.
“The zoning process will ultimately mean that students will be spread more by geography than by grade, thus creating more equitable schools in all communities
“My government intends to begin in the new academic year, the partial zoning of entry into secondary schools through the Common Entrance Examination. This method will still allow students choices of schools outside of their assigned district, but will ensure that there is greater equity in distribution of students. Government however wishes to make it clear that it will continue the policy of subsidizing those students who are assigned to attend selected schools beyond their home communities. There will also be consultation on the particulars of this strategic reform to ensure smooth and effective implementation.”