- The Senate today (December 12) approved a Motion to address the negative stereotypes that limit the learning capabilities of girls and boys.
- Opening the debate on the motion, Senator Imani Duncan Pryce noted that presently the education outcomes for both genders are very different.
- Senator Duncan Pryce, who moved the Motion, argued that results from the Grade Six Achievement Test in 2012 show that, as with previous years, girls out- performed boys in all subject areas.
The Senate today (December 12) approved a Motion to address the negative stereotypes that limit the learning capabilities of girls and boys.
Opening the debate on the motion, Senator Imani Duncan Pryce noted that presently the education outcomes for both genders are very different.
“Education output for girls and boys have been so different. I view the situation with our boys as the canaries of our times. They are failing quicker, but it does not mean that it is an issue with them only. It is about the system in which we put our children,” Senator Duncan Pryce said.
She added that while less adversely affected, girls are also underachieving “and so the system is not helping our girls and boys to reach their full potential.”
Senator Duncan Pryce, who moved the Motion, argued that results from the Grade Six Achievement Test in 2012 show that, as with previous years, girls out- performed boys in all subject areas.
“Given that girls mature faster than boys, do we teach and test all our children the same way and test at the same age, and what is the purpose of that test if we know that boys develop three to four years behind girls in the ages zero to 10?” the Senator asked.
She recommended that boys should be assessed differently as well as their developmental stages assessed differently.
“It would inform how they are taught. How do teachers use the results of the assessment test at Grade one, four and six to really modify and customise their curriculum? There are so many teachers in our system who are pushing hard, but we also know that some teachers simply copy last year’s lesson plan and don’t modify it to what they are currently seeing in their classrooms,” Senator Duncan Pryce said.
For his part, Senator Wensworth Skeffery noted that mentoring is important in tackling the issues, as boys are strongly influenced by their peers.
“Boys want very much to be accepted by other boys. They are influenced by other boys to go play sports, see movies, meet friends or go to work. Research has shown that they do so more than girls. Strategies using mentoring may include peer writing sessions, with an older boy or an older girl encouraging a younger boy,” Senator Skeffery said.
He also noted that the country’s better performing high and tertiary schools could adopt a resourced-deprived primary school and assist in reading.
The Motion calls on the Government to expand the capacity of the National Parenting Support Commission to enable the design and implementation of multilevel strategies that can engage all parents with a focus on inspiring fathers.
It also urged that the National Parenting Support Commission to include in their programme development, a comprehensive strategy to eliminate the negative stereotypes and adverse traditional beliefs of male and female behaviour, as the socialisation practices and social skills learned at home through assigned tasks contribute to boys being less prepared for the demands and routine of school and therefore impact on how they learn academically.