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  1. #1
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    Default Education - scary stuff

    Educational gap = social gap
    The president of the National Council for Private Business (CONEP), Lisandro Macarrulla, warns that the poor quality of public education in the Dominican Republic has contributed to a sort of social segregation that only intensifies the economic differences. As the keynote speaker at the Business Forum for Quality Education, Macarrulla pointed to studies that show that children from the top 20% of the social scale end up receiving fifteen times more educational input than the lowest 20%. According to Macarrulla, this is due to deficiencies in public policy as well as deficiencies within society itself. The business sector is not exempt from some responsibility for this situation, and the root cause is the bad quality of public education. As a way of solving this problem, Macarrulla suggested that the government should comply with the law and assign 5% of the GDP to education with 4% going to the Ministry of Education and 1% going to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology.
    To emphasize his points, Macarrulla cited a study by the World Bank (WB) that indicated that while Dominicans go to school for 12 years, they only finish with an eighth grade level education. In effect, they lose four years.

    (taken from today's DR news)


    Amazing...so the average Dominicano has what? the same as a 6th grade equivalent?

  2. #2
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    Look at the great examples in the goverment, some cannot read and/or write, but party membership is more important than proper schooling

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrf View Post
    To emphasize his points, Macarrulla cited a study by the World Bank (WB) that indicated that while Dominicans go to school for 12 years, they only finish with an eighth grade level education. In effect, they lose four years.
    Sad as that may seem, it's tremendous progress.
    Hillbilly will surely be able to give a different slant on this, as Santiago Dominicans have always been more educated than those in our area, but I can tell you this.
    Of 18 employees working in our Veggie biz 15 years ago, all of them had some highschool education, yet only one wrote Spanish well.
    Three were "proficient" and the rest were between poor and not at all.
    I am convinced that I was a better writer than most of them after finishing 1st grade, and better than all of them, after 2nd.
    They went to school for 3 to 4 hours per day, had a maximum of 1 hour's actual teaching in that time, and the quality of that 1 hour was questionable, at best.
    It's nice to hear that progress is being made.

  4. #4
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    Part of the problem is they teach by rote. repeat, repeat, repeat. Creative thought and discussion are not encouraged. Thus school becomes like factory work, no fun and all work. Young minds need to be challenged, encouraged, praised...etc, otherwise all that is taught is quickly forgotten. When education is only seen as a tool for getting a job or something you have to do, you end up with the product you currently see.

  5. #5
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    I wonder why I can't delete my double post??? Invalid post? See administrator?? Why??

    HB

  6. #6
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    Default Education is the root of all DR problems

    Teaching by rote (as the French do) may not be the best way, but it works.
    Teachers are often wives and primos of politicos without a clue, so they spend most of the time looking for reasons to suspend school for meetings, etc. And the centralized government that controls education does not provide free textbooks -- new law does do this but only for government employees!

    When I first came to the DR three decades ago the single school building was used in the a.m. for the young who were not needed on the farm's chores, the adolescents in the p.m., and the adults in the evening. All walked to school in uniforms carrying their books. I saw skinny old grandfathers walking from farms to town in the dark to learn to read or calculate.
    Truant officers saw to it that no kids skipped school.

    Now there are multiple school facilities in every town -- not the best, but at least they exist! Their grounds are cluttered with Pasolas and motorbikes driven by 12-15 year olds. They're dark at night and often closed for "teacher's meetings" in the day. The students sometimes pay to be given tests, etc., etc., etc., etc.

    As the deteriorated education in the U.S. demonstrates, money does not solve the problems caused by political meddling and a pervasive lack of will. Teachers can solve it just like teachers caused it.

    Abandon the schools, and give each grandmom and granddad that loves to teach a shade tree to sit under, and the problem will be solved in one generation.

  7. #7
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    I wonder why I can't delete my double post??? Invalid post? See administrator?? Why??

    HB

  8. #8
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    Oh man! I really messed that up, Huh????

    HB

  9. #9
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    So, this is what I wrote early this morning:

    I have to agree with Bob on this. While it IS possible to get a pretty good primary and secondary education in the DR, and in fact there are even a few -very few- public schools that offer good education--the Norm is very very poor.
    And this applies to many of the private schools as well.
    That said, there has been improvement, just as Rocky has pointed out.

    The issues are terribly complex. They are a mixture of salaries, physical facilities, planning, government priorities, and society.

    It reminds me of a classic book on education called The Sabertooth Curriculum. the premise of the book is that curriculum tend to be out of phase with real world needs. When the Sabertooth tiger was no longer a threat, the people continued to study how to defend themselves from the tiger.
    In today's world, the curriculum in this nation's schools is probably 60 to 80 years out of date, in reality, if not in theory. The evident push from the President is more than just politics. He realizes just how distant the nation is in regards to modernity.

    When Macarrulla tells the Forum that kids end up with an 8th grade level after 12 years of school he is revealing just the tip of the problem. Only about 5% of the kids that enter primary school ever get to finish high school. The others are working in Rocky's veggie business and such. And in a nation where the median age is just 21 years old, this means that millions of people are seriously lacking education.

    Good rant at this hour of the morning.

    HB

  10. #10
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    Slightly off topic but a response to the sabretooth point - my son has just started 2nd grade at a school that follows the DR curriculum and I'm a bit surprised at the emphasis on teaching cursive writing - is that really that important in this day and age or is it still universal? (I just e-mailed my sister whose daughter is in a school that follows the UK curriculum).

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