There is a trend in which students who receive scholarships and bursaries in the Grade Six National Assessment are repeating Form One and Chief Education Officer, Melina Fontaine, is not happy about this.
As a matter of fact, she wants the trend to stop.
Fontaine, who was speaking at a press conference on Friday, said that students who receive scholarships and bursaries in the exams have the capacity to do well.
“We have observed that a number of students who receive scholarships and bursaries are repeating Form One and we want this to stop because if they can get a scholarship and bursary at Grade 6 National Assessment it means that they have the capacity to excel and do well in Form One and so we want to ensure that measures are put in place so that that practice can stop,” she said.
According to her the Ministry of Education has started discussions with the secondary schools that will ensure that in September, transition programs will be put in place to allow students to come in, settle and adapt to secondary school life.
“This would mean that they have a schedule for studying, they have the required skills and all what is necessary to ensure that they do not repeat form one,” she stated. “We want the parents to assist us as well, to ensure that their students have a schedule to work after school when school is finished. Your students at secondary level need to spend at least two hours after school on their work when they enter secondary school. If you have problems ask your school for help.”
In the meantime, Minister for Education Petter Saint Jean said that although the assessment results this years have improved from last year, parents need to provide more support for their boys.
“Our biggest concern remains that of low performance of a small number of males,” he said. “About 90 or 17 percent of our boys obtained low grades. The data shows that only about nine percent of our girls fell in that category. This indicates clearly to us that our boys continue to be at risk and as such I wish to make a renewed call for parents and indeed the community at large to provide more support and encouragement to our boys.”
The Minister added further that within the homes, the boys need much more attention, more one-on-one assistance with their school work and more emotional support.
“The Ministry of Education will continue to train our teachers to respond to the challenges of fashioning instruction that can reach our boys and trigger their interest in learning. The key I believe is to harness boys’ strength in order to obtain the best results,” he stated.
According to him, if boys are constantly subjected to disapproval for their interest and enthusiasm they are likely to become disengaged, and lag behind in their work.
“Our schools therefore need to work with and not against the imaginations, creativity and the interest of our boys to move them towards becoming educated young men, who can take their rightful place in a competitive global environment,” Saint Jean said.