In Trinidad, The Ministry of Education has the policy of free education for all. They preach that this ‘free’ education is not based on class, wealth, race, gender or ethnicity but rather is a way to ensure that the entire nation is educated. Though these are the promises on Trinidad’s and Tobago’s Education Policy Paper, how is it that only nine of every one thousand people continue onto college, university or any higher education after secondary school?
Twenty-one percent of Trinidadians live in poverty, which means that twenty-one percent of citizens do not have access to running water or proper health care. Because of this, many children in these poor families immediately enter the world of work or become ‘beggars’ to help feed their family. This shows the importance of social class on the initial decision of whether a child will be educated or not. This is not common as only two percent of Trinidad’s population is illiterate.
I would categorize myself in the middle to high status class in my country and this has, in many ways affected my educational opportunities. I lived in a town known as Diego Martin and though my neighborhood mostly consisted of people within my same social class, the town itself has many neighborhoods consisting of people living in poverty. Pre-school education is not considered by government policies and therefore, there are no public pre-schools and if a family wants to enroll their child in preschool they would have to do so privately and with their own money. This goes to show that the first level of education in Trinidad is in fact not free. Because of this, my parents enrolled me in a private pre-school, which would indeed have to be paid for with their own money. This shows the immediate impact that class has on one’s education from just the first steps. Pre-school in Trinidad usually takes about two years and here is where a child learns his numbers and letters and therefore these children...
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