Professor Rhoda Reddock said for far too long people within the region have confused education and learning with examination and passing, which is the first area where there is a serious problem.
She said even when students pass compulsory subjects such as mathematics and English, they still lack the competencies and ability to apply the knowledge attained.
“I think that we need a much more comprehensive discussion than simply who can pass and who cannot pass, and look really at the quality of education and the facilities for learning that we need to have,” Professor Reddock said.
The professor was among a panel of experts who were reflecting on the results of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC).
The country recorded a 13 per cent drop in the pass rate for mathematics, which Education Minister Michael Browne suggested should not be blown out of proportion.
The professor of gender, social change and development said recent reviews of the teaching of mathematics at the university, primary and secondary levels, revealed a direct link between that core subject and English Language, and once there is weaknesses in one it will be reflected in the other.
The professor was supported by President of the Antigua & Barbuda Teachers Union (A&BUT) Ashworth Azille, who also outlined that there are systemic issues that are driving away potential candidates for the teaching service.
“People are finding it far more beneficial to move into other areas. At the end of the day, however, we have got to look at who we have, to the extent that they lack the necessary competence; create the environment.” Azille said.