“Trinidad and Tobago,” I patiently repeated for the second time.
“What?” She frustratingly retorted.
Discussion, debate and dialogue must continue in the short term and result in a positive extension of the school year, for the benefit of all our children and the nation. Preliminary opposition to this notion has already demonstrated that it (opposition) is not based on any sound education principles, but more on perceived self-interest. T&T has to be careful at this control juncture in our history and development as a nation.
Nation building of human and intellectual capital cannot seek foolish comfort by comparing ourselves with the rest of the Caribbean or Latin America. Even though we are usually placed in such a grouping, there are very significant differences between T&T and the other countries. The deprived economic circumstances of most of the countries result in several deficiencies in their education systems which are difficult to remedy.
Depressed wages, poor infrastructure, limited school places and several other factors place them in a difficult position. We must look carefully at the leaders in education, especially the Far East countries, and the structure of their academic years. The academic year that we have inherited from the colonial period has never been properly evaluated for value and impact.