25 September, 2009

High School

The Anguilla Comprehensive Education Report is Published.  Perhaps it has been on the news.  Perhaps it has not.  I have not heard anything about it.  It was purely by chance that I opened the government website.  There it was, a link to the long-awaited Report on Comprehensive Education in Anguilla.

Read it for yourself:

Or, you can read a summary of the Report and its recommendations published separately at:


I liked the bit at page 109 which reads:

8. The Review Team has been advised that there is a weekly press conference where the Chief Minister and other Ministers address issues and respond to questions.  There is rarely any talk about education. It is recommended that ‘education should be a weekly part of this press conference.  Either the Minister of Education or a “Guest Speaker” (e.g. the Permanent Secretary) can make some comments and answer questions from the Press.  This would enhance Public Relations. It will keep education in peoples minds.

It would certainly make the Chief Minister’s weekly press conference have a bit of substance, instead of the nonsense about “arranged marriages” that we have had to put up with the past few weeks.

Then, at page 69 I found this interesting bit of data:

Table 6.1: Investment in Education as a % of GDP 1996-2008
1996    1997    1998    1999    2000    2001    2002    2003    2004    2005    2006    2007    2008
5.5       5.2       6.0       6.3       7.6       5.8       5.5       5.4       4.2       4.2       4.0       4.2       3.5

Table 6.2: Budgetary Expenditure on Education as a % of Total Budget 1996-2008
1996    1997    1998    1999    2000    2001    2002    2003    2004    2005    2006    2007    2008
15        14        16        17        18        12        10        11        11        11        11        11        11

I confess to inadequacies in maths.  Do those figures not say that we are spending a smaller and smaller percentage of GDP, and of the total budget, on education?  Does that fact not suggest that the education of Anguilla’s children is considered to be of decreasing importance?

On balance, I consider the Report to be a bland and boring piece of bureaucratese.  What few recommendations for improvement of the education system it contains are well hidden among a mass of detail and trivia, quotations and observations.  I forecast that few will read them, and none of the recommendations will be implemented.  

I was particularly disappointed by the inadequacies and incompleteness of Section 3, “Observations on the Comprehensive Education System in Anguilla.”  Reading the Report one gathers that all-in-all the system is working quite well! 

Either that, or the team agreed to cut out a lot of recommendations that someone considered objectionable.  I am speculating, but that could be the cause of such a noticeable hole in the middle of the Report.

1 comment:

  1. There is a way to dramatically increase per capita expenditures on education, increase both gross domestic product and everyone's individual wealth, and exponentially improve not only the intellectual capital of the nation, but the deportment of Anguilla's youth:

    Decriminalize private education.

    Let a thousand schools bloom.


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