Experts have classified St. Lucia as one of the countries in the world with the poorest IQ (intelligence quotient) measurements, and according to Global Volunteers who are currently embarking on a pilot project geared at raising the nation’s IQ, there is a possibility that this could change.
Through its St. Lucia Project, the non-profit organization is hoping to increase the intelligence levels of children in the community of Anse La Raye, which has an overall poverty rate of 45 percent and the highest rate of indigence on the island with over a quarter of all poor St. Lucian children living there, according to the project’s website.
If successful, the initiative will be used to develop IQ’s in the entire country and other nations of the world.
A core belief of the organization is that by limiting factors which are proven to inhibit developing minds, IQ levels will be increased. These factors include poverty, malnutrition and the diseases which cause damage to the brain.
According to the website, the project will involve children between the ages of 5-9 and will take five years to complete. Over 300 volunteers will be required, with each team serving for two weeks. A follow up study will be convened in 2018.
“If it is possible to raise the IQ of a single community on St. Lucia, it could have dramatic consequences for the rest of the country, not to mention the rest of the developing world,” the website states.
The statistics revealed on the project’s website somewhat correlate with revelations made by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony during his latest budget address in which he quoted results of a “St. Lucia Labour Market Needs Assessment” undertaken in 2012.
Dr. Anthony had revealed that 60 percent of the labour market had not attained secondary school education “and therefore do not have the requisite skills required for gainful employment”.
“Currently, only three percent of the population is employed as technicians and associate professionals. However, there is a far greater demand for such individuals to partake in the re-organisation and expansion of businesses. Similarly, craft and related work account for only two percent of the employed population while significant demand exists for such workers,” the prime minister had said.
An intelligence quotient, or IQ, is a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess intelligence.
The St. Lucia Project’s website can be accessed at www.thestluciaproject.org.