The Association of English Teachers of the Dominican Republic (RD-TESOL) says that the biggest school failure in the Dominican Republic is not learning English



Professor Conrado Sánchez Learning English is vital for the future of the DR

The Association of English Teachers of the Dominican Republic (RD-TESOL) has expressed concern that there is still no real policy for learning English in public schools in the country. , which has become the factor that shows the greatest educational failure of the Dominican government.

The entity’s president, Professor Conrado Sánchez, has proposed that the country’s public education centers actually require a language policy based on an adequate and contextualized diagnosis.

“Regional experience shows that any school program or educational strategy without a policy guaranteeing its continuity will meet with a negative outcome. Therefore, it is essential that the Ministry of Education ensures plans and programs in English for students, especially from primary school onwards,” he said.

Likewise, the President of RD-TESOL considered that the necessary and adequate teaching materials and resources for teaching should be available; as well as enough teachers and quality control systems that would effectively fulfill the task.

Sanchez said the government’s biggest educational failure is not teaching English in public schools, because the English language subject has officially been part of the public school curriculum since 1961.

“Since 1994, when the teaching of this language was introduced in the second cycle of primary education, our pupils have been receiving hundreds of hours of English in their school life, without acquiring even a basic level of linguistic competence in this language. It really shows the absence of an effective and efficient education policy,” he said.

He argued that the government has failed to set out a real policy for teaching English, although it has been called for for years by area teachers, by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Education deputies, by the productive sectors and by more than 70% of Dominicans. families, who send their children to public schools because they do not have the financial means to pay for private bilingual education.

“The relevance and importance of this issue requires serious attention from the Ministry of Education, as our students deserve a quality education, adapted to the needs of the times, in which English functions as a frank language. in economics, business, education, politics and entertainment – ​​all aspects of international finance and the primary language of communication across the globe,” he proclaimed.

He added that the majority of research shows that there is a positive correlation between the level of English proficiency and the gross national income per capita of countries, where improving English skills increases wages, which increases investments.

With this, he said it is possible to predict that countries with better English language skills will experience faster growth in the future, thus improving their quality of life after school.

“In general, world experts agree that bilingualism should ideally begin in childhood. Therefore, it is essential for our country to have an effective English teaching-learning program from the primary level and not only in adulthood, which has been the commitment of the Dominican government for 14 years. , through its so-called “English Immersion Program” from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, which as an educational policy ultimately received no more than 1%.

He recalled that in 1998 the United Nations (UN) predicted that by the year 2000, those who could not speak English and use a computer would be considered “functionally illiterate”. Today, more than 80% of global interactions are in English.