Articles

Fri 7th Dec 2018

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SVG children’s education is underfunded

According to the Vincentian newspaper dated 30 November 2018, at Lowmans Leeward Anglican School, which has about 400 students, all the toilets that the students use have not been able to flush since Monday 26 November 2018.

The SVG Teachers Union advised teachers at that school to withdraw their services with immediate effect due to the deplorable conditions.

It is truly shocking that both the teachers and students have to operate in such dangerous conditions. There is real threat to everyone’s health at the school, having sewerage trucks and non-flushing toilets. The ULP government are really disrespecting the teachers and children with such poorly maintained schools.

To get the best out of their future, children in SVG should be given a world-class education from pre-school to university. However, by not investing much money at all in to education in SVG, the ULP regime is seriously limiting the job prospects and earning capacity of Vincentian children when they leave school. They will have fewer opportunities if they leave school with fewer qualifications.

The ULP regime has placed a low priority on providing Vincentian children with high-quality education. The ULP regime’s projected Capital Expenditure on education for 2020 is peanuts – only EC$4.7 million (Source - Budget Estimates 2018). This is nowhere near enough given that many schools in SVG are dilapidated.

It is very greedy and heartless that the super-rich, white migrants in Mustique and Canouan and the dirty dog Taiwan happily watch Vincentian children’s education suffer and still continue to not pay tax and customs duty exemptions. These people truly have no soul and do not care. As long as they can made millions in profit and live an extravagant, wealthy lifestyle, then they are happy. Absolutely no care whatsoever about the plight of Vincentian children.

SVG must follow the path of richer countries if we are to become a rich country ourselves. We must put a high priority on educating our children and value education.

New Zealand is at the very top of the scale - 21.6 percent of the country's total public expenditure is devoted to education. Mexico isn't far behind with 20.5 percent. The story is similar in Brazil where a significant proportion of public finances, 19.2 percent, gets spent on the education system. In SVG, it is only 1.28 per cent.

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, Leader of SVG Green Party, strongly believes that Vincentian children’s education gets a kick in the face from the short-sighted and grossly incompetent ULP regime.

There is heavy investment in education in Singapore. The rate of return on investment in education in Singapore is very high, in that, businesses worldwide invest billions of dollars in to Singapore. Unemployment is very low there too.

It is scandalous that schools in SVG are so poorly maintained, so much so, that children have to be sent home and miss schooling in order for the schools to be fixed. We must invest in education and provide our children with high-quality schools that are not a risk to their health.

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