BVI News

Cry for trade! Not all our children have to be doctors and lawyers

Cecil Hodge. File photo

One senior educator has said the BVI’s education system has become “elitist”, due to the prevailing mindset among parents that students have to become lawyers, doctors and professionals in the science and technology fields.

Deputy Principal of the Elmore Stoutt High School, Cecil Hodge said the push for academic subjects has resulted in the marginalization of technical and vocational studies which many students would prefer.

“For some reason, the schools have become highly academic and the students who certainly have an interest in going into technical and vocational education feel like the programmes are not doing what they are supposed to do. We don’t even have a trade school,” Hodge explained at a Teachers’ Union Forum held on March 8, when stakeholders discussed ways to improve the education system.

He said the BVI’s education system is “missing out” as there are many youth who run the risk of dropping out of school because academics don’t appeal to them.

“We have many students who are at risk and even when they drop out of school they have an interest in doing a trade. Some of them are interested in becoming carpenters, plumbers, electricians, they want to be able to make shoes. But for whatever reason, we are unable to put those types of programmes in our curriculum. We have too many of our students falling by the wayside, especially our boys,” Hodge explained.

In addition to a focus on academics, one educator said more teachers need to be trained to deal with differently-abled students.

“There is a lack of trained persons in our classrooms to accommodate the rising number of mix-ability students. There is a need to train teachers to work in inclusive classrooms,” said Tammy Henry, President of the BVI Teachers’ Union.

Despite this challenge, Henry said the BVI’s education system should be commended for its inclusivity as classrooms across the territory are filled with traditional learners and those categorised as differently-abled.

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  1. Rubber Duck says:

    When education systems set out to promote what they think are elites , professionals usually, inevitably some children , maybe a majority, are left on the education scrap heap. These are the ones who will become the future problems in society. Mr Hodge is exactly right, we need vocational training , and there are are obvious areas that apply to our economy, boats and engineering, construction and hospitality for example. Unfortunately the current Minister of Education seems more interested in stirring up hate than getting the schools back open , never mind improving the education system.

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  2. Well said says:

    Thank you Mr. Hodge.

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  3. Kingfish says:

    That is the reason why there are so many expats in the BVI, we are not turning kids with the technical skills that are needed in the BVI, the result we must import labour. BVI get your act together.

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  4. Willy says:

    The education minister doesnot have a clue what he is doing. He too busy stirring up trouble with the UK and we donot even have a high school. All those big vontracts going out and none gor a HIGH SCHOOL YET. Mr Minister you need to pay attention to that.

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  5. Observer 1 says:

    Ah! Finally! Someone is making some sense!

    Like 11
  6. musa all says:

    great news after you on your way out .

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  7. Hmmm says:

    Am i missing something here, is this not the vision of myron walwyn with VISTS?

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  8. Teacher Too says:

    That was the idea of VISTS. So why is that school not catering to the technical students. We are trying to invent the wheel when the wheel is already there. Put more technical areas in that school. Even if we have to expand. Reduce the academic subjects and cater more to the technical side. The college should set up programmes that extend what the technical school is doing so they have a certificate in that field. We are pushing all children into this mold and they cannot fit. Then these students become frustrated because they are not succeeding and turn to drugs and lawless behaviour.

    Like 11
  9. Agreed says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Hodge. In hindsight, I regret not sending my daughter to the TVoc school. She wants to become a marine mechanic and I’m here for it! Every day I see her passion towards her dreams and I know that she will excel in this area so I will not be forcing her to become a lawyer, doctor or accountant. Sometimes we as parents hamper our kids all because we want to keep up with society. We need to support our kids more in what “they” want to do (as long as it is legal) and move away from what society thinks that they should do.

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  10. Exactly says:

    VISTS is a great start, non one has built upon it!

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  11. Exactly right says:

    It was always a set up

  12. VIP says:

    Wholly agree

  13. VISTS says:

    VISTS has been the biggest success story in our quest for more technically trained people. Build on it. Simple as that.

  14. just my opinion says:

    I think that VISTS is a great program and we have seen students graduate with skills that they are proud of. my problem with it and think that it should be changed is, you have to be in form 4 or higher in order to be accepted. their are students in lower forms that dont have interest in sitting and learning social studies, history, etc. why hold them back for years when they can enter the program early and gain hands on experience in a trade that they actually want to learn for a longer period of time.

  15. right says:

    Mr. Hodge
    The people todaya are so proud they do not know they need agriculture (food) most important career, stores, mechanic maintainers of their technology idol (computer)secretary, nurse lab tech, pilots boat captains, everything is to prove who is right by being a lawyer and the doctors to over charge and give operations not necessary to collect big money and the list goes on,
    May Jesus come and close out this world of ignorance

  16. BVI News says:

    This site is an agency of the UK to disrupt the BVI

    Like 1
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  17. 100% Correct says:

    The man has vision- something severely lacking in the BVI

  18. BVI NEWSance says:

    This news site always publishing nonsense

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