We Continue to Work Toward Establishing a Presence in the Island of Dominica
government of Dominica began a textbook scheme in
1996 in response to low attendance in primary and
secondary schools and low pass rates in GCE and CXC. Free text-books are provided for all primary school students and for Year 1
to 3 in secondary school (A loan fee is charged to
cover for lost books and textbook fees at $85, which
is a third of the cost of purchasing books).
provision of books had a tremendous impact on performance
on the part of the students. The transition rates
from primary to secondary schools in Dominica were
once among the lowest in the region but by 1999 the
rate of transition positioned Dominica in the top
five in the region. For example, in the period from
1984 to 1992 an average of 609 students per year
(representing about 31% of the population who wrote
the examinations), were admitted to secondary schools.
However, by 1998 this figure increased to some 60.5%
(The EFA 2000 Assessment: Dominica).
Government of Dominica also developed a Secondary
Education Development Project (BERP 2) which looked
forward with stated aims to reduce poverty and unemployment
by increasing the supply of secondary school graduates
with flexible academic and technical skills and knowledge.
other support programs were implemented. For example,
from about 1996 the School Feeding Programme (SFP)
targeted selective areas where nutrition and poverty
seem to have had negative impacts on the educational
outcomes of students. Attendance increased in schools from 70% to 96% in these targeted areas.
central constraints of all these programs can be
summed up along two tangents:
given programs, and
education programs and schemes in a time of
reduced government expenditures
economy of Dominica, due to the collapse of the Banana
industry, is at the stage where it is burdened with
a substantial debt to service. This places government
at a serious disadvantage to execute most of its
programs that form part of its social contract commitments
to its citizens.
November 2006, representatives from GLP (through
the efforts of Ms. Angie Baptiste of Long Branch,
New Jersey) were able to meet with the Hon. Vince
Henderson, Minister for Education, Youth Affairs,
Sports and Human Resource Development.
main priority that the Minister pointed to was the
need to improve the quality focus for schools by
improving literacy and numeracy.
Global Literacy Project, Inc. (GLP) would like
to pilot a Comunity Learning Centers (CLC) and School Libraries initiative in response to
the proven insight that a major requirement is
the need for a culture of reading to be spread
throughout the island starting from the kindergarten
and primary school level. This in turn requires
a general availability of books!
initial pilot will invole the collecting and transfer
of some 15,000 elementary to seconday school textbooks and adult reading books.