Saint Jean (2nd from left) with Sam to his immediate right

Education Minister, Petter Saint Jean, has said that the brutality of Hurricane Maria was not enough to wash away the determination or to drown the resolve of the country’s young people.

Saint Jean was delivering remarks at a press conference held at the Financial Center on Wednesday.

According to him, education is on the rise in Dominica.

“This year’s results come exactly 332 days following the most catastrophic Hurricane in our recorded history and, given the large scale of destruction, I am delighted to note that the brutality of Hurricane Maria was not enough to wash away the determination or to drown the resolve of our young people,” he said.

Saint Jean noted also that last week he read with some concern, reports of under performance of students at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination across the region, the headline indicating that 11,000 students had failed to attain a passing grade in any subject area.

“Considering the stressful conditions under which our students did the examinations I actually panicked at the thought of our results,” he said. “Since then the analysis done by the officials of my ministry reveal that despite the odds, our students have performed most creditably.”

He said the students had made Dominicans “exceedingly proud” and lauded their  determined efforts as a resounding testimony of the strength of the Dominican people.

“They triumphed over the lack of electricity in the remote areas and the urban settings,” he pointed out. “No access to internet and the stress associated with the recovery process and indeed, they have achieved success.”

With a performance which is 12 percent above the regional average, Saint Jean described the students’ success as an inspiration to the country and demonstration, that even in the face of adversity, hard work can win out.

“We heard from the analysis that out of the 33 subjects that our students sat only 2 subjects were below the regional average,” he noted. “That to my mind is commendable.”

He added, “ I believe we can use this positive aspect of our students’ performance as a springboard for continued interventions that target their competences in literacy and numeracy to set them on the right path to academic success.”

Meantime, Public Relations Manager of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Cleveland Sam, said when the region looked at Dominica last year after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, he didn’t think that anyone could imagine that these results could have been this good.

He said CXC continues to stand by territories in time of disaster.

Sam congratulated the Ministry of Education, the schools, parents and students in Dominica for such excellent results.