UWP leader calls on government to review new textbook policy

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UWP leader calls on government to review new textbook policy
UWP leader Allen Chastanet
UWP leader Allen Chastanet

Adding his voice to the controversy surrounding the recent implementation of a new textbook policy for secondary schools, United Workers Party (UWP) leader Allan Chastanet has since called on government to review it with immediate effect.

Chastanet cited high cost of living as one of the main reasons why government should review this policy.

The UWP leader said that not only are textbooks very costly, but the new policy requires a whole lot of spending, which families here can hardly afford. He said it is an insensitive policy decision, which should not have been implemented without proper consultations.

“I am appealing to this government to review its policy. It cannot and should not implement a system of asking people to change text books; they do not have the money,” he explained.

Education Minister Dr. Robert Lewis has noted that the changes in the booklist is necessary and are in keeping with adjustments made in the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) curriculum. He maintained that it was not a Ministry of Education decision to change the booklist, but that of the examining body. Textbooks are the same for the primary academic departments.

However, the ministry has been heavily criticised for this move. Parents have been complaining that the cost for these new textbooks are too high and are out of their budgets for back-to-school shopping.

While textbooks are usually passed down from one family member to another, this will no longer be useful, as most of the textbooks are now changed.

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35 COMMENTS

  1. @ annoyed you are the real deal thanks for explaining to these morons how it works they seem to think it's the present regime who is responsible for this scenario, at least the government gives parents 500.00 notes more than the last government did bur some of us are ungrateful bastards!

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  2. The Internet is the best source for all information. I would use my existing textbook combined with Internet research. I am sure this would be better than any textbook. a changed syallbus!!!! perhpas only one chapter in the entire book is different. Students can go through university without purchasing one textbook, Internet Research, the BOSS!!! parents just ensure you have internet access at home.

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  3. Besides if the Government knew that CXC was changing books shouldn't they act in the interest of the people and write to CXC? Considering the economic stress that parents are going through? After all that is what they were elected to do. REPRESENT AND ACT IN THE INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE. Don't make excuses for a PM who has so much influence regionally.

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  4. You may not like the him, but he does make sense. And what is with the ever changing CXC curriculum? Are we seeing better results from our students?

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  5. Politicians only ever have criticisms of each other.

    Can Gov do not 1 thing right in the eyes of the Opposition?
    Can the Opposition do not 1 thing right in the eyes of Gov?

    Not 1 thing?

    SMH.

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    • That's a good idea. I remember the MSS use to do it a long time ago and it worked.
      They should include that if the books are damaged through the child's carelessness then the parent will have to pay.

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  6. Would it not make economic sense for the schools to buy the books charge a rent and deposit. Any books not returned in good condition at the end of the school year some or all of the deposit is lost?

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  7. some people only see red even if they suffer to their last breath. earl, KC, annoyed, AB, a bunch of individuals who seems not to be able to think for themselves. CHASTNET IS RIGHT.

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  8. There is a much deeper issue here that has escaped most of the commentators.

    First is the acceptance that the CXC is really testing the what it should be testing. OK. That's a bit vague.

    Better said: In reality, is CXC testing in the subject areas and also in content areas that which are relevant to the world of work?

    The next issue is this. Textbook data (facts) except the received wisdom of the ages, tend to be outdated by the time the manuscripts reach the printing presses. So, how about teachers, Teachers Training College and taking charge of our future of course, the Ministry of Education placing greater focus on teaching our charges "to learn how to learn" instead?

    This over-emphasis on textbooks betrays a non-personal development focus on mastering or learning only what is within the covers of a textbook. We kid ourselves and those we teach, that all there is to know resides between just these textbook covers.

    We are short-changing our young. What a great disservice this is! We are not at all HONESTLY preparing them for the uncertainties and ambiguities of the future. We keep on stuffing their heads with, and praising them for just having mastered basically what is rewarmed soup.

    We know that unless the knowledge in encyclopedias are referenced and used, they remain practically useless. We have today a failing education system that is well reflected in the holders of leadership positions in the country.

    That is the reason why we have so few self-starters and leaders. But we have lots of morons who cannot bring two apparently related ideas together to create a third useful one. Yet they go on beating their chests boasting that they have lots of credentials, evidencing in their management and decision-making their usefulness as only walking encyclopedias.

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  9. Out of curiosity i want to know is it is ONLY in St.Lucia that such policy exist? If it is not i say to Chastenet to examine his head.

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  10. The government should provide all school books free of charge for the children of St. Lucia.

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  11. It couldn't be more clear that Allan is singing for votes. This release is one of the most asinine that has driveled from his mouth!

    The Mad Cow has spoken!

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  12. I would rather the text books get put on computer and the kids get to buy them on fam drive from the school...and download them on their devices...

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  13. we can never please people.there he is trying to help the nation and poor families and we the big shots are complaining. we like to see the poor under our feet. i find it to be a selfish attitude

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  14. Really Allen! Where were you when it was first announced that the books were changed? You wait till most parents have purchased the books to ask gov to review! In any event, let's be real, we exist in a capitalist environment. If the books are never changed, what would happen to the book stores and their employees, publishers, authors,etc?

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  15. Chastanet acting like the government took it upon their own to change books. CXC is the examining body , they are who the ministry of education has to go by . Can you go to UWI and decide to use MONROE college reading list . Books are changed every 5 yrs it happened in the UWP time and it can happen in any political sitting . What the government can do is to try to control the price on books . Education is a changing process . The world doesn't stop because we hate change

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    • Did the review really warrant changing every single book for every subject? There is more to this than meets the eye

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    • There is a lot of politics involved in book review bribery etc. The MOE failed to initiate the book review process in a timely manner leaving the storeowners scrambling to get rid of a ton of old stock. Who will take responsibility for compensating them for their losses.

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    • That is a pile of shit. Who make up the CXC? The same Caribbean government that are bawling things are hard. Kenny was able to convince Caricom that St Lucia wanted an increase in the rate of Beers from other Caricom countries why couldn't he ask CXC to hold on the change in syllabus.

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    • Education is a changing process? I guess thats what its suppose to be. But I noticed two things that don't change. The general content of the text books and the curriculum for the primary and secondary levels, at best they may add new subjects at secondary level but I think thats it.

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    • every 5 years as opposed to every two years is a big difference, i think that the people who are making the decisions are out of touch with the realities on the ground. imagine you have two or 3 children each a two years apart, that means on that change every two years you might have to spend $1500 to get new editions, now imagine that you are a parent who making $2000 dollars a month. before you would have seen these changes happening mainly with secondary school students and some might say that is cxc's mandate but this isn't done in isolation and the ministries of education around the region can influence this, but what is the explanation for primary school books being changed so frequently? this is not political this is just logics, our managers need to be more aware of what is happening on the ground before they rush into decisions.

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  16. As usual...Chastanet has nothing to talk about.

    He is overly boring.

    Say something of substance for once, man.

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