Will the Education of Caribbean Students Affected by the Hurricanes Suffer?

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Many throughout the Caribbean are picking up the pieces and trying to put them together post Irma and Maria. One couldn’t help but wonder how will students from the most affected islands fair.

Basic necessities continue to pour in to many of the Eastern Caribbean Islands. Some suggest that citizens of these islands have been violently thrust back in time. If such is the case, how will the students be able to focus on Mathematics, Business, Science, Languages and IT when many of them have been to hell and back.

One three-year-old child on one island stopped speaking and now regressed to using unintelligible babbling. What is the way forward to ensure the students aren’t left behind as most schools on the hurricane torn islands have been destroyed or are currently used as shelters.

Psychological trauma is no easy fix.  For the child in Dominica who claims she keeps waking up to dreams of her house falling on her, will she or her classmates be able to soon forget this disastrous experience?

What about the high school and college level students who were looking forward to sitting SSAT, CXC, ACT, SAT or the Cambridge A-Level exams. Do they have the resilience to emerge through the rubble and score well. Or are we going to see a plunge in results when the scores emerge.

Is it more efficient to wait until some normality returns to the affected islands before allowing students to sit exams? or will the act of studying and working toward a goal serve as a form of therapy?

What ever the solution is? The long road ahead will be difficult. And this will require a much thought out plan to ensure the students of the most critical island aren’t left fending for themselves. The support of each community with a number of outreach programs is essential and paramount.

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