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The programme examines the mismatch between the traditional education system (a hangover from the British Colonial era) and the culture in Trinidad and Tobago. Sequences show the prize giving at on...e of the elite boys schools in Port-of-Spain a rural primary school in Tobago, and one of the new Junior Secondary Schools, where the emphasis on purely academic work has been modified by the development of a completely new currlculum. Some of the points raised in the programme are in relation to (i) ideas about the use of Standard English and local dialect in schools. (ii) attitudes to education among pupils and teachers. (iii) career choice and the difference between academic qualifications and social aspirations.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: E201, Personality and learning
Item code: E201; 12
First transmission date: 31-06-1976
Published: 1976
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:37
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Producer: Edward Milner
Contributors: Cheryl Birchwood; Hyacinth Bonair; Lyle Alexander; Osmond Downer
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Attitudes to education; Port of Spain; Chaguanas Junior School; Colonial inheritance; Indigenous culture; New curriculum; Patience Hill primary school; Trinidad; Tobago; St Mary's College; Traditional education
Footage description: The programme opens with an interview with Osmond Downer, the headmaster of Chaguanas Junior Secondary School in Trinidad. Downer describes the education system imposed on colonial Trinidad and Tobago by the British. Film of prize-giving at a traditional school, St. Mary's College. In voice over Milner explains the position these traditional school occupy in Trinidadian society. Over film of a steel band, Milner comments on the alien nature of the traditional school system in Trinidad. Over shots of sugar cane workers, he briefly describes the educational deficiencies of agricultural areas. In interview, Hyacinth Bonair, a teacher in a traditional secondary school, comments on the neglect of agricultural subjects in traditional schools. Three boys at this school describe their hopes for a professional career, and a girl explains the importance of success in examinations. In interview, Hyacinth Bonair outlines the inadequacies of the traditional curriculum, while Lyle Alexander, a trainee teacher, complains of the irrelevance of the examination system. Shots of Patience Hill, a poor rural area of Tobago, over which Milner comments on the limited educational opportunities in such places. Film of a class at Patience Hill Primary School. In interview, Cheryl Birchwood a teacher at the school, argues that West Indian education suffers from its adherence to Western rather than African culture. Shots of her class singing a folk song. (Actuality) Shots of a new junior secondary school, over which Osmond Downer, the headmaster, explains why more secondary schools are needed. He describes the curriculum used at his school and argues in favour of vocational subjects, especially agriculture. Shots of such subjects being taught. Downer stresses the need for dialect to become acceptable in schools. (Actuality) In interview, a girl from Chaguanas School explains the advantages of questions in class. Downer comments on the happy atmosphere at the school. Shots of agriculture classes. Milner asks children here what careers they intend to follow. In interview Downer argues for more vocational education. The programme ends with film of child doing agricultural work.
Master spool number: 6HT/71875
Production number: 00525_6105
Videofinder number: 555
Available to public: no