Middle schools ‘hell for kids’

Government’s education reform is off course because it does not focus on the basics, says president of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Dr Ronnie Yearwood.

Addressing a St Michael Central branch meeting at the DLP’s George Street, Belleville, St Michael headquarters on Sunday night, Yearwood said the basis and aim of education reform should be about fixing primary education.

“When you fix primary education, the rest will filter through the system. If you can’t read at nine and ten, what do you create fancy secondary schools to do?” he asked.

Yearwood said Barbados was going to middle schools – with the proposed introduction of junior and senior colleges of excellence – a concept which other countries were now trying to get away from.

“Bermuda is trying to get rid of middle schools. America is struggling with [the] concept . . . . From what I have studied and researched, middle schools have become these places of hell for kids and teachers. It really affects the learning process. It pushes them back. Nobody likes to teach middle schools. Somehow when you group the children in that space, it does not create learning but an environment of intolerance and bullying. It is a horrible experience,” he said.