Please allow me space for a letter that is perhaps going to reflect badly on you (your paper) but the intention is to bring to the attention of the public the shortfalls in our presentation of ourselves to the public and the education system in this country.
I wish to refer to the front page of SN Thursday, July 8 – the two sentences read as follows—“this man seen in this photo was dumping garbage on punch trench dam at about 1.40 today. This is one of the person that go and collect garbage from people home and get paid for it and then bring it and dump it here.” It was front page news.
In my days as a student we were advised to read the newspapers to enhance our reading and writing skills.
Today, students complete six years of secondary school education and many never looked at a newspaper. Now let’s get back to the front page news. Assuming that students had picked up the Stabroek News on July 8, 2010 and read the front page in the hope of learning something they would have been exposed to at least eight grammatical errors in those two sentences.
I have listened to Minister of Education, Mr Baksh, speak of improving the standard of education. Well he is missing the whole idea of education by a mile. When students graduate they should be knowledgeable in certain areas. They should have a grasp of basic English Language. I am yet to meet a high school graduate who can write a paragraph without grammatical errors. And these are graduates. Many of them go to teach in our schools. Is there any hope of our children having a proper education when the teachers do not know basic grammar? And that has nothing to do with the backpacks that are so full of books. The children risk serious hernia trying to fetch them—-they have to drag them.
Minister Baksh please do something that will make your name be remembered for something good—-bring back traffic education and emphasize the need for students to be drilled in grammar—singular and plural—-singular subject, singular verb—clause analysis. If these are areas that are included in the syllabuses then look to see what is taught and what your education officers are doing. All with the intention of improving the standard of education—if there is a standard.
Editor’s note: Stabroek News apologises for the unedited caption which appeared in the July 8 edition. The caption that was published comprised the note that had been made by the photographer. It had been subbed but was inadvertently replaced with the unedited version.