Our education system was indeed among the best in the Caribbean, especially with special schools like Bishops’, Queen’s, St Stanislaus, St Rose’s with the convents. The young boys and girls who graduated from there, were some of the finest in the country. I know this for a fact, since I was associated with some on various committees and governing boards, etc.
Now I really do not know whose idea it was to make most of these institutions co-ed; however, it did happen. Boys and girls were attending those prestigious places of learning together, but, alas, what the controllers were guarding against, did happen. For about 10-15 years now children were engaging in sexual behaviour. Teachers are aware of this and some are even involved, but parents are ashamed to come out and speak about it. Although myself and family are not involved I feel ashamed as a Guyanese that this is happening at our best places of higher learning.
Not very long ago I was asked to deliver a eulogy on the death of one of the Bishops’ finest teachers at the Central Baptist Church on Brickdam, and I made mention of the view that co-ed schools should be returned to separate boys and girls institutions. Believe me, after the church service most of the elderly women from the large congregation present surrounded me in the churchyard commending me for mentioning same, since they were never happy with the present state of affairs.
Now, my question is what would prevent us from returning these schools to their original status. A little work would be involved to effect the transfer, but I hope the Ministry of Education would take a serious look and recommend this as early as possible, since from my knowledge the people of Guyana would prefer the top schools to be separated. Most progressive countries in the world have separate schools for boys and girls, so why not Guyana?