Opposition Leader Addresses Partial Opening Of Schools

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Opposition leader Philip J. Pierre addressed the partial opening of schools in a post on the official Facebook page of the Saint Lucia Labour Party on Sunday.

The post is reproduced below:

The government has announced that there is a partial opening of schools tomorrow but not a physical opening. I take that to mean that there will be teaching but through virtual means. In short, children and teachers will need devices tablets or laptops to receive their instructions. Announcements have been made for teachers to prepare to teach and students to be available for online messages.

While this may sound noble forward thinking and progressive and makes for great UWP propaganda and public relations, I ask the question how many children will really be able to access these lessons because of either the lack of computers or access to the internet.

I think it is necessary to recap where our country was regarding computers for students when the Saint Lucia Labour Party was voted out in June 2016.

The first set of computers approximately 4000 was received in August 2013 and distributed to students in Form 4.

The second batch of computers 7000 received from Venezuela was distributed to Forms 3 and 4 in November 2014.

The third set comprising of 4000 laptops, 1500 desktops, 600 projectors distributed in Form 3 The Desktops and projectors were made available to individual schools.

As part of the distribution, teachers were given access to computers or laptops.

The SLP government from 2013 began the process of teacher training from the OAS and other online platforms.

In dealing with the question of access, we negotiated with the government of Taiwan for island wide accessibility through the Ginet program.

It is clear that the SLP government had devised a well-structured plan which would in the short run, allow students to complete their SBA and CXC examinations virtually or online.
As was the practice at this time the UWP, their surrogates found all imagined and real criticisms to level at the program including the now in famous “you cannot eat computers.” In fact, both the now Minister of Education and the Prime Minister were scathing in their attacks on the one computer per child initiative of the Saint Lucia Labour Party.

My parents always taught me that patience is a virtue and God works “in mysterious ways his wonders never cease.” We have come full circle and look at where we are hundreds of children may be denied access to learning at this time
I can hear the screams of justification and excuses “it’s because of Covid 19, and stop criticizing, let’s work together… it’s a national effort.” True and logical as this may sound for the purposes of UWP public relations and social media sound bites.

The real truth is that some of our children particularly those from low income and unemployed households will not be able to receive online instructions due to UWP neglect and the desire to fight and stop the work started by the SLP government.

I can assure you that there are many more examples of that vindictive UWP posture. I guess all misdeeds and policy failures will be blamed on Covid 19 as if that virus was there from June 6 2016

Philip J Pierre

 

33 COMMENTS

  1. And Philip my dear, what new information have you brought to the table?
    Cheap politics at this time. Pathetic…

  2. The absurdity of this current administration never ceases to amaze me. It is confounding to me how few people understand that education is a right and not a privilege. We cannot be competitive in today’s economy unless we guarantee accessible and quality education to all of our people.

  3. Pep be current…….stale bread I don’t want….Donate some of the $$$$$$$ you and you executive…Officers…and acolytes draw while you was a MINISTER…

  4. Can everyone just relax he is right the government shouldn’t have removed the laptop program for upper secondary school students they are the ones who needed it most in this time and can someone answer me this why was the program removed to save a couple bucks does this current government value money over our children st.lucia future leaders

    • Listen man don’t even ask nothing of these ignorant people all when it’s staring them POINT BLANK in their face they will still find the most outrageous excuse. The facts are the facts.

  5. All our children need a computer today,to survive this situation.Lets not do politics.We are all at fault here

    • A desktop computer yes! Not a laptop! Social media would take 50% of their study time in their privacy . I know there are the scarce committed to study students and it would be useful to them.

      • Truth Being Told, let me tell you the truth – quite frankly you are the dumbest person who post here. Yes you are. Are you not aware that the world is moving from desktop to laptop and other more portable devices? When a student has to complete a project in school would he/she carry a desktop? Some children spend school days at one home and spend weekends at another, must their carry the desktop from one home to another? If the students are meeting to do group work must they carry the desktop? Do you understand the difference in obtaining connectivity with a laptop and a desktop ? Come on you fool: do you even know the difference between a desk top and a laptop? If you knew you could never make that stupid comment. Do you know that it is much easier to carry a laptop to repair than to carry a desk top. TRUTH BEING TOLD COOOOOYOOOOON. COOOOOOOyoooooooooon.

  6. The absurdity of this current administration never ceases to amaze me. It is confounding to me how few people understand that education is a right and not a privilege. We cannot be competitive in today’s economy unless we guarantee accessible and quality education to all of our people.

  7. So parents will now just depend on a handout called laptops. Why don’t we take responsibilities for our actions. Are our priorities right. Lucian fathers in a bar every day, Lucian mothers dress up the most and govt have to look for laptops for your children. Well wake up ppl smell the coffee, a laptop can be as cheap as some of the clothes and tvs we order. It’s been a basic requirement for over 5 yrs now. Get your children basic laptops for learning from time they 10yrs. Oh and btw the laptop without internet is basically useless too.

    • You must be made to say something like that there are some parents out there who are seriously trying to help there children and buy nothing nice for themselves for you to say that a laptop can be cheap as some clothes you must be going mad all laptops at computer are over 1000$ that is more than some parents make in a month you wake up and smell the coffee the government should’ve never removed the laptop program for upper secondary schools after parents have to deal with registration fee and school books plus materials some parents were extremly grateful to see a smile on there children faces when the previous government gave these laptops

      • If you cannot feed or provide other basics for YOUR child use protection. Some of y’all have no business having children. And I am not referring to the people who have just lost work now due to the effects of Corona.

        You telling me the government has to consider continuing a SCHOOL feeding programme to feed your child at HOME with you. Be real people.

      • ok, well I just went to bestbuy.com and amazon.com and saw laptops for less than 1000EC, some as low as $500.Why do we as parents wait every year for August to buy school supplies. Do what I do end of month buy a shirt. It normally cost me about $26.56 at Maraj. A pair of socks other months. Atleast your child will have 3 new school shirts and socks by August and in August u buy the school books. All am saying let’s stop wait on govt to do basic stuff for ourselves. A laptop is a basic requirement if u want your child to go forward. I sacrificed buying new clothes and reduced on days at bars to buy my son laptop. Thank God. He can use it, now.

  8. I will eat my own vomit , though my child benefitted from the Laptop program I could not have appreciated the vision of the Government at that time , except it made my child very computer literate , as a result also help me become literate myself .but come 2020 I cannot help but admit is was one of government ‘s greatest education policy ,they were right on the vision as much as it pains to admit .

  9. Again the SLP has given a list of the laptops they have given to students. For the sake of the nation why haven’t you tell us the effect these laptop had on the these students and their results. You dont think if it was good they would have rightfully blew their trumpet?

  10. Bub bub bub bub it’s vilification time again by this UWP Rag there…….opps their weekly round robin of toxic spew. PM. Pierre you have hit the ball right out of the park again Sir, oh yes do we remember that famous ” you can’t eat computer verse”. In retrospect to the common denominator that many kids from low income single family, and the unemployed, would not be able to afford to partake in online schooling due to the lack of a lap tops due to acute vindictive blunder of the United Worthless Party is simply callous and unsympathetic. That’s nothing new for them, it’s engraved in their constitution and code of conduct (their norm). Like you have stated Sir, it has come full circle.

  11. stop the politics. parents find money to buy expensive phones and money to put plan,ur child have expensive phones and u telling me government responsibility to buy laptop for your child learning.all of url have phone thats what u bought use it. ur child know how to get hot spot to do none sense get hotspot to do ur schoolwork.

    i’m not into politics fact chastnet does some real shit at times but in whats happening he trying real.but i just hate when someone always has negative to say and thats Phillip j pierre .this guy literally made me dislike politicians as a youth . like mate eh have no work to do but turn everything around ee. mate sounds real hungry for power.

  12. SOMETHING IS UTTERLY WRONG PSYCHOLOGICALLY WITH THE CHASTANET. YOU SHOULD SEE HOW GLEEFUL HE LOOKS WHEN GIVING ADDRESSES AT THE POINT RELATING TO THE IMPOSITION OF CURFEWS AND RESTRICTIONS. I REALLY STARTING TO HATE CHASTANET, FREAKING HALF CAST BLACK MAN! LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION KEEP ON DOING THE GREAT WORK AND DON’T LOSE FOCUS. IF YOU CONTINUE THE WAY YOU ARE, YOU’LL DEFINITELY GET MY VOTE!!

  13. I would like to know why people make children and is government responsible to provide all the time, don’t get me wrong. Looks like some lucians depends to much on the government my god the red and yellow killing St Lucia. PJP please if I was in place of you I would not want to be the PM of St Lucia Papa that’s not good your heart.

  14. I SIT THERE LISTEN AND READ EVERY BODIES COMMENTS ABOUT LAPTOPS AND THIS GOVERNMENT AND THE PREVIOUS ONE. QUESTION
    1) WHERE ARE THE LAPTOPS THAT WERE GIVEN PREVIOUSLY? CAN THEY BE USED?
    2) WAS PROVISION MADE WHEN THESE LAPTOPS WERE GIVEN FOR INTERNET IN THE HOMES OF THE ONES WHO RECEIVED THEM? WAS THERE ANY REVIEWS DONE AS TO WHAT IMPACT IT HAD ON THEIR STURDY IMPROVEMENT?
    3) THERE WAS NO ONLINE PROGRAMS SETUP THEN OR E-LEARNING PLATFORMS, WASN’T THAT PUTTING THE CAT BEFORE THE HORSE? OR WAS IT A POLITICAL POLITRICK?
    4) MOST CHILDREN HAVE MOBILE PHONES THAT COST MORE THAT A COMPUTER OR TABLET.SOME PARENT WILL TELL YOU THEY CAN USE IT FOR SCHOOL?
    5) SOME OF THE LAPTOPS WERE USED FOR OTHER ACTIVITIES AND NOT SCHOOL; WORK, i CAN TELL YOU FOR SURE THAT WAS THE CASE WITH MOST OF THEM.
    6) I BELIEVE THAT NOW WITH E-LEARNING NOW, THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO INVEST NOW, MOST TEACHERS DO HAVE DEVICES , THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO ASK THE TELECOM COMPANIES TO ALLOW INTERNET TO HOMES WITH CHILDREN AT SCHOOL AT ALL LEVELS.. LUCELEC SHOULD BE ASK TO REDUCE THE COST OF THEIR BILLS BY 60%,
    7) PARLIAMENTARIANS SHOULD BE ASK TO TAKE A 65% PAY CUT, FOR GO THE BACK PAY.
    8) THE LENDING AGENCIES SHOULD PUT A HOLD ON ALL LOANS FOR 3 MONTHS WITHOUT APPLYING THE INTEREST.
    REMEMBER WE ALL ARE FEELING THE WEIGHT OF THIS DISASTER.

    • AA ! hope there seem no hope for you. (1) these laptops are the property of those who use them. They were donated to the children and not loaned. Does learning end when you leave School? SMH (2) Do you absolutely need internet to use a laptop? Noooooo. What about the students typing their assignments, SBAs, etc or downloading at school to read at home? (3) Your answer is in 2 but also some homes had internet, schools had internet and their was GINET to access in some communities. (4) Most Students have phones? Tell us the exact number from you zombie research. And let us say your voodoo statistics was true, don’t you know its a lot easier to do certain types of work on a laptop than on a phone? I have a phone, a kindle and a laptop but their are some things I will do only on the laptop because its more convenient. Do you expect a child to do a whole SBA on a phone? You must be joking! (5) Of course some of the laptop were used for other things apart from school. So what? Would you be able to control that if you give a child a phone, kindle, tablet or laptop? There you go with your “most” again. Please publish the entire research. (6) You looking for “freeness” pal? (7) AA, I thought we were speaking laptop, you move to pay cut? (8) From laptop and connectivity to loan? Look it!

  15. These computers were issued to form 3, so what happen to the students going back from form 1 to grade 1? The never had computers anyway.

    • Can’t you read? the initiative started with form 4, then the new forms 4s and 3s and would continue down the line to new form 3s and form 2s, new 2s and form ones, new form ones and grade 6s, new grade 6s and grade 5s new grade 5 and grade 4, …. Do you get the point now? This method is not new, it has been tried and worked in other countries. To speed up, where funds permit you can do up to three levels in a year.

  16. The last time i check it was my responsibility as a parent to provide them tings for my kids .i mean if im getting a help i will take .im sick of everything is government ,our kids can used phoes to go online then we can use it for home school .get us a brake go fine some something to do .then trying to put us against each other. On my end it will not work

  17. Pierre, you are absolutely right. The laptops served a purpose and would have been extremely helpful right now, even though we can’t eat computers. The UWP had no legitimate reason for abandoning that laptop project while embarking on some of the other more expensive, hair brained projects they’ve embraced.

    My only issues with the laptop program was that more work should have been done to enhance connectivity. Also, there should have been some data gathered to demonstrate the effectiveness of the laptops in helping to raise student achievement. While that is not the only benefit of the laptops, it is an important factor. The GInet services are not sufficient, there ought to be more hot spots available in the various communities.

    To all the persons lambasting the parents and asking if they cannot buy laptops for their children, many parents cannot afford to buy laptops for their children. There is a high rate of poverty in St. Lucia and contrary to what some of us might think, people don’t choose to be poor. Yes, they don’t always make the right choices but poverty is a cycle that is difficult to break (not making any excuses) and there are many factors which contribute to it. Should the children suffer because the parents cannot or choose not to buy a laptop? The children should pay for their parents’ choices? I know many persons who grew up without the necessary parental support for whatever reason, and they became successful, law abiding citizens because a teacher, a neighbor, someone saw beyond the parents’ choices and assisted them. It takes a village to raise a child.

    Governments must do the same things they’re asking the citizens to do- save, spend wisely, work from a budget, prioritize things, invest appropriately, don’t re-invent the wheel. Governments must lead with vision. Unfortunately both political parties have failed us in that regard. We have failed ourselves by allowing our political hackism to accept everything they send our way. We can do better.

    • Very effective comments from every one you all have shared some facts that are true on every comment. There are also advantages and disadvantages for every comment. As citizens forget about your grievances and differences, come work together to put an end to these difficult situations which we face presently God bless

  18. As non party..i want to say..Why does everything have to be SO POLITICAL?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Now? In this time?. Mr Minister, have you ever wondered why the country is the way it is? People fighting against each other for the *IN THE NAME OF PARTY?* where do you think it started..it started with the politicians..Not because a party is “OPPOSITION” means they have to disagree with EVERYTHING the other party does ( and I am speaking to both parties. When instead of bringing something POSITIVE, USEFULL, ESSENTIAL, VITAL to the table… all that is said is Pawol jayté.
    Frankly I am sick of it..What example are y’all setting for the children..the next generation? Grow up!. Stop acting like children! This is not the time to take or steal praise and pat yourself on the back or blow your horn..ITS TIME TO STAND AS A NATION..IN UNITY..BOTH PARTIES WORK TOGETHER FOR A COMMON CAUSE AND STOP PLAYING POLITICS WITH THE LIVES F SAINT LUCIANS!

  19. The problem is..unless people die..ST LUCIans will NEVER UNDERSTAND WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING..QUESTION… TO MAKE THINGS EASIER..Would you prefer being in Italy shoes or the United States shoes where there are over 3000 cases confirmed and more than 2000 deaths?..in order to take the Pandemic serious? The thing about st licans is that we like too much excitement..action..believe it or not Italy and the other countries widely affected would wish they were in your shoes..COVID 19 DONT CARE IF YOU RED IR YELLOW..YOU PUT YOUR SELF IN THE POSITION.. YOUR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCIES AND THAT IS WHAT WE NEED TO GRASP.We are blinded by colors of party..if it’s not our party to say to do it..we won’t do it..even if it literally kills us.. WE NEED TO TAKE OFF THESE STUPID COLOR COAT FROM OUR EYES AND SEE THE BIG PICTURE.

  20. I believe SLP want all places to be open for the virus 🦠 to spread and then the country lost control then they will come with their crap and say s*** because SLP people are very dangerous and selfish people

  21. Students come to school with very expensive phones from overseas. They can get a laptop from these same people overseas if they gave that priority. Don’t blame the government for not prioritizing your child educational needs.

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