Poor writing skills of concern says Education official as NP donates exercise books

Fontaine shakes hands with Brumant during the presentation
Fontaine shakes hands with Brumant during the presentation

With poor writing skills being reflected in the National Assessment Exams, Chief Education Officer, Melena Fontaine, is hoping that more writing is done in the island’s schools.

She said during a presentation of 2,000 exercise books to eight primary schools in Dominica on Thursday morning that writing is going to be a focus in the new academic year.

“We expect to see more writing within our schools and this is something that we are actually going to give focus to this school year,” she stated.

According to Fontaine, poor writing skills are evident in the annual National Assessment Exams.

“Writing is something that shows off in National Assessment as not happening well,” she stated. “And not just writing as in writing an essay or a paper, but hand writing.”

She said the ministry of education is taking steps to address the issue.

Fontaine said the donation of the exercise books will be put to good use.

“I assure you that we are going to do all that is within our means to ensure that the schools have the students using the books that you provide and using it well,” she said.

The books were donated by the National Petroleum Company and manager Heskeith Brumant said the company is delighted to assist.

“NP is delighted to be part of this thrust by contributing exercise books to each child in eight primary schools in the rural communities,” he said. “This initiative also forms part of NP’s community outreach program.”

Eight primary schools in Dos’ Dane, Belles, Vieille Case, Dubique, Morne Prosper, Laudat and Thibaud were recipients of the books.

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  1. Producer
    September 8, 2014

    Ahem…Speaking properly also has a great influence on how you read, write. Dominicans don’t write exactly how they speak. They would say “eet” for it, “breeng” for bring, “beer” for bear… Teach them how to speak properly first, then the rest is easy.

  2. Malpardee
    September 7, 2014

    First of all, parents are responsible for their kids education. Secondly, when all young people these days trying to imitate other countries life style what u expect. They only care about how they dress, how they look, if they have money to put on phone e.t.c. Also, it is sad that they cannot differentiate when speaking their da dialect and writing. I usually mess around when i speak to
    My people in a chat room or dno , with dominican dialect like doe and stuff but i am
    Certainly not going to write this way on a business level. I am so thankful to god that i grew up with a family who cares. I do not have to worry About anything, except living for jesus…

  3. Intrigued
    September 6, 2014

    “Writing is something that shows off in National Assessment as not happening well,” she stated. “And not just writing as in writing an essay or a paper, but hand writing.

    How can someone who speaks and writes the above quote be a Chief Education a Officer?

    I am almost certain that one of the criterion for senior roles in Dominica is weak communication skills.


  4. Snorkeller
    September 6, 2014

    Poor writing skills cannot be attributed only to the declining or as some may ague the absence of reading at both schools and the home. One of the major culprits is the inability of our children to think critically or analytically. These latter skills are a natural part of the child’s development but they can also be taught. Analytical and critical thinking can be imparted as early as pre-school but we must have the teachers with the skills to do so and include these subjects as an integral part of the core curriculum. Otherwise later on we engage in a process of promoting students throughout their school years without having aquired the requisite skills and they end up going to college not even being able to write a proper sentence or researching and preparing a paper on a given topic. Additionally even if they are able to do some research and get some data they have difficulty in interpreting the data and even making informed presentations to their peers in class.

  5. Young Manager
    September 5, 2014

    Even the young persons interviewed and eventually hired by my employer cannot correctly structure a sentence in English.

    This makes me apprehensive as manager to know that these persons are representing the company; However my boss doesn’t seem bothered.

    • The Facts
      September 5, 2014

      I am reading something that I did not expect to read. Is the boss educated? If he is, he will be bothered by their inability to structure a sentence in English.
      They must develop reading skills. If they read books which will also assist their writing skills, they will be able to form a proper sentence.
      Are they not given a test prior to being accepted for the position? This should determine their capability.

    • Say what
      September 7, 2014

      Our ministers are representing our beloved country on the world stage and they do not appear yo be concerned about the paucity of their command of the English language.

      I feel that our ministers should join the children on this course.

      Have you listened or read our ministers addresses lately? I am shuddering. I am so glad that I am black as I would be a permanent beet root as a result of our leaders disrespect of the English language!

  6. The Facts
    September 4, 2014

    Our writing tells a lot about us and the type of education which was received. Another word for it is good penmanship. The latter word is no longer used in this era of gender this and that I suppose.
    The teachers will have to provide writing tuition for the students and exercise patience while assisting them. This should commence from elementary/primary school. I hope, the teachers have good handwriting skills.

  7. hey hey
    September 4, 2014

    our people should take a page from the Chinese people. it is evident that the issue of poor writing skills and to a further extent poor oral expression is mainly due to a lack of reading. With regards to what i said earlier about taking a book from the Chinese, whoever has been to China would clearly see that Chinese children, above 4 -5 years have already picked up the habit of reading. reading whilst on the bus, sit all curled up in the corner of book stores reading books. whether they be science fiction, or romance novels, they read a lot. This type of reading helps them properly express themselves both orally and written. Most times our young people use smart phones it’s usually to check out facebook, or for other chatting purposes. now although the chinese do the same, however they spend more time reading and educating themselves, both the young and the old. this is a thing that i have seen firsthand on a very regular if not daily basis.

    • AmazingFace
      September 5, 2014


      I don’t know anything about China’s youth as you do, but Dominican kids today behave as if they are being punished when you suggest to them about reading a novel.

      And to me, it starts in the home. If parents don’t foster that love of reading; if children never see their parents reading or even LOLing at a joke in a novel, they will never see the appreciation for reading.

  8. Pestle
    September 4, 2014

    hmmmm Mrs Fountain, I have a few questions for you since you all are always complaining.

    Why is it that when a teacher is not performing he or she is transferred to another school where the same thing continues?

    Shouldn’t that teacher be warned and eventually if nothing is done to remedy the situation, they should be sent to another department?

    Why is it that principals can say who they want and don’t want at their schools?

    Why are excellent teachers transferred from schools?

    • The Facts
      September 5, 2014

      The principals may not like the competition of well-learned and experienced teachers.

  9. bajan
    September 4, 2014

    just call Heartly Henry he w ill remedy that :lol: :lol:

    • Anonymous
      September 5, 2014

      Case in point, you can’t even spell HARTLEY. yet you greening.

  10. September 4, 2014

    Reading is essential. Parents need to encourage their children to read more and this is not solely done by vocalizing the need to read; but, they need to read WITH them- lead by example. If they (the parents) cant read, then they should make an effort to find someone who is willing to help their child/ren in that area.

    Reading will help build their vocabulary and confidence. Also, the formation of book clubs would be helpful. Perhaps that is something the school can encourage [ not mandate].

  11. Observer
    September 4, 2014

    I hope that some of our ministers will utilise the material as their communication skills leave a lot to be desired.

    Ministers should lead by example. Our children cannot emulate our ministers as most of them have IQs of -20 (negative 20)

    • Anonymous
      September 5, 2014

      Your child should emulate you, ask the parents of the successful student, they will confirm.

      • Observer
        September 6, 2014

        Are you trying to say that our ministers do not need to be good communicators?

        Mrs Malapropism must be shuddering in her grave, when she hears our ministers deliver their addresses!

        How can the education minister instruct children to be better communicators, when the ministers are destroying the English language?

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