Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country in terms of economic sustainability, prosperity, and world peace. It is also the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world according to the late Nelson Mandela.
“It also opens a whole world of opportunities for the poor so that they may have an equal shot at well-paying jobs. Education also plays a major role in women empowerment” (Mohamed Reda).
However, our leaders both locally and internationally have all agreed that the current education system, especially in developing countries like Trinidad and Tobago, is failing our students at a significant rate annually; causing economic instability, poverty and poor health care , crime, and job losses due to an uneducated/ unskilled human resource.
Some of the factors contributing to the failing education system are as follows:
- Each student learns differently and many educators are not trained in the department of psychology or possess the ability to identify their students’ learning styles, learning abilities, or learning disabilities. This is caused by a lack of additional resources and training for teachers by their employers.
- Many educators within the education system today do not understand how to adapt and/or change their pedagogical practices to suit the needs of each individual learner according to their learning capabilities or learning disabilities, learning styles, and learning preferences. This is also caused by a lack of additional resources and training for teachers by their employers.
- A lack of parental involvement at school and at home (home-school connection), which also contributes to a lack of encouragement from parents to complete school obligations.
- Under-utilization of technology to stimulate and enhance the learning experiences of today’s learners at schools to make teaching more effective, exciting and easier for teachers. (Read more about the failing education system here)
‘Grapes for a Good Life Ltd’ was created to transform the quality of education by promoting parental involvement (most important factor), expert pedagogical practices, educational psychology, and technology. It works by providing expert educational assessments (by highly-qualified professionals) to each student to better understand their learning styles, psychological capabilities, and/or disabilities. Subsequently, a customized pedagogical approach is created to improve the grades and/or learning abilities of each student, and recommendations are provided to his or her teacher to promote better pedagogies and educational research at schools.
However, cognitive skills assessments are not sufficient for creating students who are motivated to learn and succeed. This can only be achieved through a holistic approach to pedagogies that also include personality assessments, psychological assessments, sociometric data, and career management services. Hence the reason our innovative and proprietary six-step model (the first in the world) achieves great success in student performance at school and life experiences. Our six-step model motivates students to learn and excel by creating an educational environment that is conducive and relevant to their preferences i.e. their desires, learning abilities, and goals for the future.
The ‘GRAPES’ six-step model works as follows:
STEP 1 (Evaluation)
An initial evaluation is conducted by qualified educational consultants and psychologists to understand how individual students learn best. This is evident in our educational philosophy and pedagogical practice. This stage through an initial consultation will ensure that solutions are provided specifically to a child’s need and ability in order to improve their grades and competence. It also assists in identifying academic challenges and learning disabilities, however, not all students have learning disabilities. Parents will also have the opportunity to work closely with the best psychologists and educational consultants in Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S.
STEP 2 (Remediation)
The second step of the model provides students with academic remediation to improve their grades and overall performance at exams. Students will receive 2-in-1 laptops, online tutoring/practice, and guidance when navigating through their school curriculum by a registered educational consultant. Tutoring activities will NOT conflict with studies at school and is flexible enough to provide instructional scaffolding for what is already being taught or should be taught in school, at anytime and anywhere. As such, your students will never miss a topic again because of a low-performing teacher or from being absent at school because of an emergency or illness.
The online platform not only provides comprehensive feedback to consultants monitoring a student’s academic performance, it also stimulates learning and enhances the learning experience for students through fun, a reward system, and exciting imagery. See more about online education here.
A clinical psychologist will also provide recommendations to support the psychological development of each child. This can also support coping with peer pressure, bullying and other negative influences at home and at school. At this step, parents will also be able to identify the specific problem areas which are preventing their child’s academic excellence and/or social preparedness. A student who feels better, learns better.
STEP 3 (Monitoring)
At the third step of the model, consultants will monitor a child’s academic performance and social/or psychological development over a period of time (weekly, monthly or annually depending on the need). This step helps to ensure “speedy” remediation to problems that may occur during a child’s progress and to ensure he/she is improving according to expected academic and social standards.
STEP 4 (Career Guide)
At the fourth step, an educational consultant will identify through various tests, which profession is best suited to a student’s personality. This helps students to identify the professions they would like to pursue when they become an adult. It also assists in the process of motivating students to excel and to perceive education as relevant to their goals and desires. This is an exciting step and care should be taken by parents to ensure that their goals and the goals of the students are not in conflict with each other.
STEP 5 (Subscription Shares )
The fifth step of the model is implemented by redeeming a gift certificate for a Subscription Shares account (Supplied by Trinidad Building and Loan Association). This will ensure that your students have a good financial start in life or that funds are available for University expenses home and/or abroad.
STEP 6 (Integration Into Higher Education)
The sixth step of the model provides a comprehensive career path and guide that identifies the universities locally, regionally and in the U.S.A which offers tuition aligned with the professions identified at Step five. At this stage parents will network with an educational consultant, a tertiary education recruiting officer or a representative from the U.S Embassy for more information on what is required to enter the various faculties at University home or abroad. Parents seeking overseas tuition for their students will be provided with guidance on student Visa applications, scholarships, SAT preparation and financing (provided at no cost from the U.S Embassy/EducationUSA). The goal of the sixth step is to ensure that students transition from secondary school and into University to become successful and wealthy adults.
VIDEO GUIDES/COURSES (For Parents)
ELDER ASSOCIATES LTD
- Understanding Childhood Development (Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development)
- Building an educational foundation
ELDER ASSOCIATES LTD
- ‘Coping with Peer Pressure’
UWI (UNIVERSITY LECTURER) – ANDRE HOWARD
- ‘Charting Your Child’s Future’ (career planning)
UWI (UNIVERSITY REGISTRAR’S OFFICE) – NIGEL BRADSHAW
- ‘University /Tertiary Education’
The ‘GRAPES’ program also includes:-
- an interactive chat room for parents who want to engage in meaningful discourse with other parents or stakeholders.
- Schools can also create their own private chat-rooms allowing parents to network with other parents while keeping abreast of the various activities at their children’s schools.