Live on CBN-Radio 90.9FM each thruday 4-5PM: Motion to Adjourn: Hosted by Hon. Thomas Famous & Senator Dwayne Robinson: Live from Bermuda:                               Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 or Email ALL news; ads call 1-284-440-6666

‘Sixth Form was rushed’- Sharie B. Y. de Castro

- the former Political candidate & beauty queen called on residents to unite for country & not party
Former school teacher and political candidate, Ms Sharie B. Y. de Castro has blasted the hastily implemented Sixth Form Programme in public High Schools of the Virgin Islands. Photo: Provided
Mrs de Castro expressed her dissatisfaction with the controversial Sixth Form Programme while a guest of the Morning Ride Show on June 22, 2016. Photo: VINO/File
Mrs de Castro expressed her dissatisfaction with the controversial Sixth Form Programme while a guest of the Morning Ride Show on June 22, 2016. Photo: VINO/File
Education Minister Hon Myron V. Walwyn has been criticised for wasting $1M on a small wall around the Elmore Stoutt High School just before the snap election while most schools did not have basic items like water, toilet paper and teaching tools. Photo: VINO/File
Education Minister Hon Myron V. Walwyn has been criticised for wasting $1M on a small wall around the Elmore Stoutt High School just before the snap election while most schools did not have basic items like water, toilet paper and teaching tools. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Former Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Territorial At Large candidate in the 2015 snap election, Ms Sharie B. Y. de Castro has lent her voice to the controversy in the education system and the issue of the Sixth Form as proposed by the embattled Minister for Education and Culture, Hon Myron V. Walwyn.

She was today, June 22, 2016 speaking on the Morning Ride Show on ZROD 103.7 FM with Paul ‘Gadiethz’ Peart.

6th Form ‘rushed’- de Castro

When asked about her views on the very unpopular idea of the Sixth Form being dictated by Minister Walwyn and which has seen strong opposition from parents, teachers, students and education officials, Ms de Castro, an educator herself who specialises in issues of literacy, said “unfortunately the Sixth Form was rushed…it was never thought through properly.”

She said education should be about the betterment of the child and that it would have been better to consider the additional form at the primary level since that is where one can better mold the students and ensure they are better prepared for High School.

Ms de Castro, a former High School teacher who runs her own educational business, said “parents of today are not like those of back in the days or else all parents would have come together and fight for what is right for their children and the education system.”

A female called into the ZROD 103.7 FM show to also lend support to Ms de Castro, saying that “the additional year would have been better placed in the primary schools.”

Education system failed under Hon Walwyn?

Ms de Castro also stated that the education system has failed, however, she was not about “just bashing but finding solutions as there are some positive things that came out of our education system.” She said she is a proud product of the Virgin Islands' educational system, however, one of the challenges is the issue of literacy and when she looks at the Elmore Stoutt High School, for example, and all the fights, it all leads back to some fundamental skills that most of the students lack- “reading and writing.”

The former school teacher told the radio show listeners that “students are afraid and somewhat embarrassed to read aloud in a classroom [that] they would do anything to get out of the class, if they are asked to read aloud.”

Political future

When asked if she would run again for public office, Ms de Castro  answered “yes” but noted that her business to promote literacy is a movement and warned residents “not to be only about party politics or have blind allegiance but put country first.” The educator, who is also a poet, said she had noted that a lot of people who are following the politicians- the grass roots- are not “getting ahead” while the politicians are doing well, she said. “We should be aligned with country and issues.”

Walwyn bad for education

Minister for Education and Culture Hon Walwyn has come under fire for his inability to listen and what many has described as the confusion in the education system since he became the Minister.

He wasted $1M on a small wall around the ESHS just before the snap election while most schools did not have basic items like water, toilet paper and teaching tools.

The public does not support the Sixth Form at the High School level and the Minister has refused to listen to their cries. 

43 Responses to “‘Sixth Form was rushed’- Sharie B. Y. de Castro”

  • NHI (22/06/2016, 12:44) Like (5) Dislike (65) Reply
  • Teachers (22/06/2016, 12:58) Like (31) Dislike (2) Reply
    very good pints girlfriend
  • make sense (22/06/2016, 13:00) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Xxx (22/06/2016, 13:14) Like (28) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes agreed better placed in the primary school
  • ndp (22/06/2016, 13:53) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
  • facts man (22/06/2016, 14:10) Like (38) Dislike (1) Reply
    Myron plays politics with everything it is such a shame today after receiving the most votes NO ONE WANTS TO SEE HE
  • ESHS (22/06/2016, 14:48) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply
    You go Former Ms. BVI !!! The next Minister of Education !!
  • wolfman (22/06/2016, 15:33) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    she is beautiful
  • Foundation-First (22/06/2016, 15:49) Like (42) Dislike (0) Reply
    Please post this one. Thanks

    Ms de Castro you have just gotten yourself 4 out of 4 STARS. For that- you have won the “Bright Future Teachers’ AWARD.” Thank you and others like you who truly “innerstand” where the focus of the work should be concentrated in our children’s education. A NEW Direction is desperately needed, NOW! If not, this same challenge will undoubtedly be readdressed further down the road. MORE TIME AND MONEY WASTED.
  • Moron (22/06/2016, 16:03) Like (38) Dislike (1) Reply
    Myron knows nothing about education or BVI culture. He is just puffed up with false pride. Those who support this man are just as self centerd as he is. They think they are going to get favors from him but they are wrong; for he only serves himself.
    Walwyn goes to the HOA, saying that RTW will "see man from boy" if they sell their business to a foreign company; yet he sold his own company to outsiders with much higher legal fees than before. This man is neither believable or trustworthy.
  • wrong place (22/06/2016, 17:24) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    Myron would do better in tourism .this is like showing a child 6 n telling them its 9 bottom up !this is the biggest failure ! 6form is not an automatic system bawl head !!. Ok you enforce it .so we pateintly waiting to see the difference nxt year !
  • zoe (22/06/2016, 18:19) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    ball head will never listen to you all his way or the high way then he wants to be Premier never never never
  • ananymosly (22/06/2016, 18:47) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    go ms decastro speak your mine. that ball headed man don't know whta he is doing
  • CIU (23/06/2016, 00:02) Like (3) Dislike (17) Reply
    Where is the gab between grades to put an additional grade in primary school? What is this 6 th form you all are talking about? What am I missing here? The system has been changed from having a gap between 5th grade and first form to kindergarten through 12th grade. K123456789,10,11,12. With the framework established for the 7,8,9 grades to be a junior high school, just waiting for a building. This initiative brings the BVI up to the international standard of 13 years of primary and secondary education from k to 12. The high school diploma based on the internationally accepted cxc program improves the quality of our education and now makes it internationally accepted. The goal of the professional training for principals and teachers is to improve the quality of teacher instructions and school management. The enhanced early childhood education legislation and regulations to come on stream shortly is for improvement of early childhood development, which many human development specialist claim to be the most important years of human development. The ministry of education has embarked on a comprehensive holistic approach to improve the quality of our children's education to global standards. The literacy problem in our schools and our territory has been so for decades, it's not new. Myron is doing his best to change that. Are you all paying attention? There is never going to be a perfect time to make the necessary changes, if you don't start you will never finish. There will be challenges, what you do is overcome them as they present themselves. Strups.
    • Agenda (23/06/2016, 08:57) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
      Give me a break; this is not about creating international “dumbed-down, non-thinking clones;” this about educating our children on a stronger foundation in which to build on. Forward the facts, the international educational institutions that are succeeding are those that have gone against popular thinking. It is called, “Disruptive Innovation.” Look it up. Look at the disaster of “common-core” in the United States to standardize education. This minister is about creating political achievements for his own self-centered, self-interest agenda, and nothing else. “A minister without clothes.”
      • CIU (23/06/2016, 14:28) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
        @ Agenda - Wow!!! are you saying that enhancing legislation and regulations for early childhood education; bridging the gap between grades (K123456789,10,11, 12); making an internationally accepted standard (CXC curriculum based K-12) our standard; creating the frame work for a junior high school; training principals for better school management; and training teachers to improve classroom management and instruction are all bad ideas and are only self serving to the minister? Especially since the majority of our students upon graduation attend American colleges and Universities? I agree with you that we should seek out the best standards to emulate, I also hope that you will agree with me that the process has been started. I don't have to support or oppose anyone to have an objective view based on the facts that I have. And I am certainly not going to engage in any hostility.
        • Agenda (23/06/2016, 19:25) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
          To CIU, yes I do agree with some of your points; however, I am so fed-up with how these ministers go about their process of planning, strategizing, and executing any significant objective. They go about like they are in a "rush" to “execute” in order to keep power and strengthen their personal agenda for the next election bid. Why can’t they do the right things and thoroughly layout a short and long-term succession master plan and earnestly engage the public to establish a shared commitment, so in case the present political party may become unseated, the public can continue to hold that new party accountable for an already committed objective. Thus reducing time and monies invested on any given project to get it done. Just ridiculous at it is right now, and this present set has turned out to be the worst.
    • wake up (23/06/2016, 09:56) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      I'm sorry but you sound like an educated fool. Who coerced you into writing this long yet misguided post? There is no established curriculum in place for this "additional" year. In fact with how it was implemented the curriculum that existed before was just stretched which means children pretty much repeated a form due to lack of proper planning. You decide that children need an extra year of school and up to now you do not know what that extra year entails in relation to standards that must be covered? This blind allegiance Ms. de Castro speaks about is vivid. You offer your full support to the minister even when he is doing nonsense that he himself can't explain neither can you. Come back and explain in common language what you meant. All that glitter and gloss you just posted is good for nothing. Who said the literacy problem just started? Get out of defense mode! Y'all are trying to meet international standards and most children can't even meet national standards because through the school leaving exam records are falsified to make children graduate who failed so that the ministers can look good. Yet we want to blame the children for coming out of school immature and ill prepared? Then we punish them not by adding the extra year alone but by putting it in the wrong place and not by logically making preparations to establish a plan that outlines EXACTLY what these children will be doing. Go sit down with all this political allegiance and put yourself in these children's shoes and see how it feels to be in this demeaning position!
      • CIU (23/06/2016, 12:49) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
        @wake up - There is no need to insult me, I am quite capable of forming, voicing and writing my own views based on the facts I have gathered through investigation and not others opinions. There is in fact a curriculum being taught up to the 12th grade based on CXC standards.
        Much of the flaws you speak of in our education process have been the situation for a very long time, and are the same things that the minister is trying to correct. I can't have a meaningful discussion with you if you think that enhancing legislation and regulations for early childhood education; bridging the gap between grades (K123456789,10,11, 12); making an internationally accepted standard (CXC curriculum based K-12) our standard; creating the frame work for a junior high school; training principals for better school management; and training teachers to improve classroom management and instruction is nonsense. Especially since you offer no suggestions-for-improvement to be debated. I don't know how you concluded I have blind allegiance by presenting the facts. Could it be you have blind opposition?
    • @CIU (23/06/2016, 12:44) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      High School is four (4) years Grades 9-12, Junior High School is Grade 7 & 8. You looking polical company.
      • CIU (23/06/2016, 14:17) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        My source is the permanent secretary in the ministry of education. Primary k-6, junior high 7,8,9 high 10,11,12. What's your source? I don't know what you mean by "I'm looking political company"
  • Diaspora (23/06/2016, 05:27) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Glad to see some opposition candidates from the last election (June 08) emerge from their slumber and contributing to the political debates. Where are the other candidates? We need to hear from candidates not just at election time. If one wants to be a servant leader, one has to be fully committed. Electorate must be familiar with candidates well before an election.
  • hmmmmmm (23/06/2016, 07:16) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    one day is was rajah then next Decastro hope the others who run speak out good job Sherry NDP must go
  • Yes (23/06/2016, 08:31) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    Yall keep saying to put the extra year in the primary schools when all the primary schools have all the required grades from K-6. In the highschool, Form 2 is considered Grade 8/9 basically half and half. So if anything, the extra should be added to the highschool to have all the required grades from 7-12 if they're trying to match the american system.
  • Math Teacher (23/06/2016, 10:03) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    You need to go back to school and learn math. And also critical thinking. Think back real quick did we always have grade this and that? Follow America whose education system is one of the worst in the world??? Yay!! Good going! Best idea I ever heard!! NOT!
    • uhm... (23/06/2016, 15:16) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
      If I recall.... we always did have the grade this and that. Idk when you graduated from any school, maybe the 1950's or something but I know there was always a grade "this and that" so... watch yourself. Oh and I'm not saying to teach them american subjects, I'm clearly referring to the grades. Maybe you should be an English teacher so you can read properly.
      • Math Teacher (23/06/2016, 22:52) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        When in the history of the BVI was GRADE this and that implemented?? Clearly you didn't go to school here. We have had STAGE, CLASS and FORM in the BVI. Oh and while you're at it since you know so much and we're following the American system what is the highest gpa a student in America can have? What is the highest gpa a student in the BVI can have? I guess we just picking from here there and everywhere lil piece of this and lil piece of that and lumping it all together. The old people does say you going keep picking and picking til you pick sh*t.
        • uhm... (24/06/2016, 14:22) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
          As far as I know, everytime when I picked up a schedule from ESHS for any form it says "Form 3 (Grade 10)". Maybe yall took it out recently or something but it was always a Grade # for each "Stage", "Class" and "Form". You are clearly not getting the point I am making. I am not speaking about the american grading system. I am talking about the different levels. Which are K-12. In our system there is K-12 but 2 levels are merged together for I don't know what reason. If you do respond back this, I hope you understood what I said so we can really have a conversation without invalid rebuttals.
          • Math Teacher (24/06/2016, 20:24) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
            I know exactly what you were talking about. I posed another question in the midst of your pro-american education system post to prove just how mixed up the BVI is with this piece of this and that system from all over. There was never any grade number attached. We never used grade before it was recently introduced. Ask any child what grade they are in and you'll see most of them still struggling to tell you because they are used to stage, class and form. Parents face the same issue. People in the education ministry get mixed up too. That's because we have this mixed up, messed up system.... Producing mixed up messed up children... This is bigger than the minister's ego or any other person in government. This is about the future of the Virgin Islands.
  • pico (23/06/2016, 10:58) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Done deal!
  • Strupes (23/06/2016, 22:57) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    The minister got to be here paying this blogger some big money to keep listing OVER AND OVER his long resume of things that he is supposedly doing. It is actually hilarious to see someone sitting down and doing that... Shoot if it's a high paying 90,000 dollar job why not right?????
    • CIU (24/06/2016, 04:15) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
      It doesn't have to be someone who is getting paid. It could be someone who believes that some good things are happening in education. It could be someone who is tired of the constant negative erroneous opinions without facts and want to add some positive with facts. What's wrong with that. Why do you find it necessary to make personal attacks and cast aspersions on someone with a different opinion? Bring your ideas to the discussion. It's easy to criticize.
  • Observer (24/06/2016, 02:53) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    The biggest mistake we are making is aligning our school system with the U.S system. They themselves are looking to other countries for ideas. Check out the Dan Rather Report on Education (CNN)..
    All we needed to do was strengthen our Caribbean -style education but no, some American - trained educator thinks otherwise and everybody following blindly. .
    Don't be fooled by the fancy talk. The reality on the ground is the complete opposite.
  • CIU (24/06/2016, 04:36) Like (0) Dislike (9) Reply
    Many caribbean countries have a similar grading system to the one we have adopted. You can research it yourself. The CXC standard is not a North American or European standard, it is a caribbean standard (CARIBBEAN Examination Council). It was created because of the regional concern that the North American and European curriculums and assessment tools were biased. And it is internationally accepted. Before, we followed the British model with General Certificate of Education (GCE) being the international assessment tool. The reality on the ground has been the reality for quite some time. It will not change instantly. We are now in a change process. Add more positive.
    • Observer (24/06/2016, 07:05) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
      If speaking the truth is considered being negative then I will forever be negative. Admit it CLU : this additional year was not properly thought out and if you had consulted all the stakeholders involved you would not have had so much opposition and confusion. You all came to us with a set agenda and you presented your ideas. At no time at all, did you stop to listen to opposing views. I guess the truth would have derailed the Minister's do it now plan. ..
      And since you mentioned that our program is in line with CXC, which other Caribbean country is allowing their children to write CSEC in grade 12 and which other Caribbean country is confusing the children with this so called credit system ? And isn't it a fact that grade 12 is an optional grade for other Caribbean countries?
      And isn't it a fact that all children in the rest of the Caribbean graduate in grade 11 and then they go on to Six Form or a Community College if they want to pursue CAPE ?
      Come on my good friend, be true to yourself and stop fighting so hard to convince us and yourself that we are going about this the right way. You know, it was not properly thought out and what about the OECS study that had recommended that the additional year be placed at the primary level ?
      • Really? (24/06/2016, 09:50) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply

        To Observer, I agree with you 100%; this CIU seems to be pushing this agenda like it’s a do or die stake on their behave. For CIU- give it up, reassess the plan, engage all stakeholders involved, readjust, re-launch, and move on. My other comment was also directed at CIU.
    • Really? (24/06/2016, 07:51) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
      Higher Education Institutions only require a “general high school diploma” to verify that that level of education was completed for entry. Some Ivy League institutions also require that one take other entry-level tests to qualify. Most don’t give a “hoot” what that diploma is called or where it’s from. This CXC scheme has become just another hustle in the Caribbean. Give the children their School Leaving Certificate and allow them to graduate; CXC should be an option if they wish to take in which to stroke one’s pride. I tell you, only in the Caribbean.
  • Dee (25/06/2016, 23:36) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Love all the points that Sharie made!!! I feel if some kids can pass out of spending that extra year, let them pass out!!! A future education Minister right here!! Walwyn, STOP before it is too late!

Create a comment

Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.