Bernard Coard on the Implications of Placement of West Indian Children in British “Educationally Sub-Normal” Schools

“The implications for the large number of West Indian children who get placed in ESN [Educationally Sub-Normal] school and who can never ‘escape’ back to normal schools are far reaching and permanent. As demonstrated above, the West Indian child’s educational level on leaving school will be very low. He will be eligible, on reason of his lack of qualifications and his assessment as being ESN, only for the jobs which really-ESN pupils are able to perform; namely, repetitive jobs of a menial kind, which involve little use of intelligence. This is what he or she can look forward to as a career! In turn, though his getting poor wages, poor housing, and having no motivation to better himself, his children can look forward to s similar educational experience and similar career prospect! No wonder E.J.B. Rose, who was Director of the Survey of Race Relations in Britain, and co-author of the report Colour and Citizenship, states that by the year 2000 Britain will probably have a Black helot class unless the educational system is radically altered.”

Excerpted from: Coard, Bernard. How the West Indian Child Is Made Educationally Sub-Normal in the British School System: 50th Anniversary Expanded Fifth Edition. Kingston, Jamaica: McDermott Publishing, 2021.

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