Concern over scholarship recipients repeating Form One

 Fountaine believes scholarship recipients have the potential to do well
Fountaine believes scholarship recipients have the potential to do well

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.

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42 Comments

  1. D/can
    July 2, 2014

    Teaching is a 24/7 job!!! For no pay. Yes it is great to see students excel especially those you have been working hard with. However one thing I do know is that DOMLEC, DOWASCO, LIME do not accept those kinds of currencies when it’s month end and time to pay your bills.

  2. concerned
    July 1, 2014

    There is absolutely no reason! Not a single reason to blame the children. a child does not repeat because they fail one test from the development of the first term the teacher and parent must realize that the child is struggling and requires some kind of adjustment support. After that stage intervention and support should be afforded to this child and then the results would be different. Again the buck falls dead with parents and their interest in their child’s performance.

  3. DGS Teacher
    July 1, 2014

    @ WOW herein lies the error in your comment i highly suspect that your level of critical thinking is extremely limited because their is not a strand of inappropriateness in my comment. I was merely addressing the uninformed opinion of the blogger who dared to suggest our school and without impunity make assertions about the abilities of our teachers without regard to the enormous sacrifices that are made at bringing the school back to the level it operated in the 70’s -late 90’s. It is a few who have in recent years who have sought to drag the name of the school down and we who are at the frontline should exercise extreme caution and not strike back. This is the problem with Dominican society everyone wants to hit and strike you in always but the moment you respond then you turn out to be the one with the most faults. Well this is classical opposition tactic so be informed when you make statements. Just to prove my point just search on DNO teacher attacked at dgs and search DGS excels and you will see how the negative blogs out weigh the positive. Then critically examine my statement and yours “Dear DGS Teacher

    Although I appreciate your frustration borne by the adverse comment posted, I believe that your response was highly inappropriate.

    Your language is not suited to a respected member of society who is charged with nurturing and guiding our children.

    You have unintentionally reinforced the contributor’s criticism of your school.” and the tell me it is inappropriate to respond to the individuals who are the very parents who contribute to the problems we face rather than the solutions we try so incessantly to adopt.

  4. watcher
    July 1, 2014

    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,”When they do not have proper skill programs in place,how can you expect our boys to compete globally.

  5. VI Vibez
    July 1, 2014

    Fellow Dominicans, I am all for education. Without it, u are lost in this world. I believe with all my heart that the recent system out in place by rhe government, whereby every child goes to high school, should be reviewed. In as much as it seems to be a good thing, on the other hand, it is showing clearly that our youths are not ready for such transition into the high school world. I believe the children have to be ready for such. The vocational system was working excellent, I have known people who has passed through such system and are doing very good today. They were able to do work at their level and in the end achieved goals and is now giving back to society. Being in high school is all well andgood, but one has to be prepared for such environment. my opinion, is that I think the educational department to review that fact that all students should go to high school, as long as they have done the exam. Pleas Mr prime minister loom into thus plea. Our young people feel lost and therefore produces poor work.

  6. hm!
    July 1, 2014

    I not even wasting my time to read the article. That’s why our students who have gotten passes go on to show their potential in high school (when they are graded unfairly or otherwise). Not forgetting that the majority of the tests are multiple choice, only composition is your true work. Children with passes – show them my children, show your capability. I am not saying the bursars and scholars don’t deserve it. But those who do sometimes end up failing and those who don’t excel. :-|

  7. Anonymous
    June 30, 2014

    This is of great concern and I am very happy that the ministry of education is addressing the issue. Our students need to be successful.

  8. Pestle
    June 30, 2014

    Mrs. Fountaine, tell me what go is it when teachers are trained and they are considered to be unqualified temporary teachers. Tell me why does it take so long for teachers to be appointed in this ratched system.

  9. Anonymous
    June 30, 2014

    Might just be a flloops they got that scholarship or bursary. Look at their yearly performance . How can a child get 90 90 90 80 and that’s a pass .since when did 90’s become B and 80’s become C

    • whiterose
      June 30, 2014

      if you understand the grading system of the national assessment said comment would not have been made

    • looking
      July 1, 2014

      Its not a flop, its just that others did better.

  10. Anonymous
    June 30, 2014

    Dominicans too like to jump into things that they are not prepared for! The Universal program should have been pioneered in all schools before flushing it down our throats….. Dominica wasn’t READY for universal secondary education, yet we just RUSHED into it… There should have been a transition time for this program before accepting it and implementing it.. Now the teachers in the classroom are feeling the brunt of this new program. We had a well working technical vocational program.. We should never have abandoned that program and jump in the band wagon of universal secondary education. Every child would have gotten the opportunity to excel.. Those in high school and those in the vocational program. .. Now we want to RUSH again with the T-VEC program which WE are not ready for.. We must exercise prudence before delving into the deep.. We need to take the time to assess these programs to see how they worked before boarding the train… My heart bleeds to see the poor performance of boys at the high school even today.. Some can’t spell, write and analyze things. It’s sad .. Moreover their behavior are clogging their judgement and they don’t think, they don’t push work like our former students who were determined to work. We are in a new era, yet the MOE wants to treat these children like those LONG before us.. They are so wrong. Most of the children in the 80’s n early 90’s and even before that were focused, determined and self motivated.. (Remember I said MOST) .. We never had soooo much discipline problems in the past as it is today.. Yet the MOE thinks that teachers can do the same with kids of today like they did of those of yesteryears. When kids before were more settled and you could get them to work unlike those of today.. WE ARE IN NEED OF HELP.. people stop blaming the teachers.. The first teacher of every child is their PARENT.. So stop blaming teachers because teachers do try their best with your kids. .

  11. A Valley Man
    June 30, 2014

    The society is encouraging the poor performance of our boys. What did the Minister of Education and the Education Officers had to say when a government shool in Grand Fond celebrated a GIRL’S APPRECIATIPON DAY. Did they had a BOY’S APPRECIATION DAY? I recall posting on DNO at the time that this was tantamount to discrimination of the boys in that school.

  12. welookit
    June 30, 2014

    Pay for the work required. Teachers are tired of this chicken feed. $1800 with a degree and that is before tax. Well is Jesus deep down inside of me that have me going on. but how many teachers have that same Jesus? Chief not in classroom now so her tongue change. OK OK

  13. Medical professional
    June 30, 2014

    I believe that the students are burdened with way too many subjects . Students are subjected to at least 11 to 12 subjects in first form . I believe that the ministry needs to consider the practicality of such and review its effect on the remaining hours that are left after school hours for home work , studies , chores and recreation . Can these young children balance school , chores , home work plus extra curriculum activities ? I am no psychologist but I do believe that they do need some time to replenish and refresh themselves . Again , I believe that there are just too many subjects in first and second forms !

    • SMH
      July 1, 2014

      14 subjects in some instances. Also, the children are placed under so much pressure that by the time First Form comes around they are already tired. A number of students spoke of “sleepless night.” For many of these children there was no balance.

      I also believe that the emphasis placed on National Assessment is not repeated anywhere else in their educational journey.

  14. Anonymous
    June 30, 2014

    Maybe they checking on the exam.

    • Anonymous
      June 30, 2014

      Should be.. Maybe they are cheating on the exam.

  15. truth will be reveal
    June 30, 2014

    There are just too many teachers who want to have Masters Degrees. That’s good enough, but when once they obtain degrees they forget how to teach. Some teachers take on other classes in the afternoon at other institutions to make money and forget commitment to their school and the children. For real they tell you that’s how they make money. Where is the commitment. I’m of the firm view that children should have the best teachers in first form and the very best in forth and fifth form. The forth and fifth form teachers should dwell with the children for the last two years of their school life. Some investigation needs to be done in certain High Schools in Dominica. Beginning with DGS. Check the CXC Results every year. Ministry of Education please launch an investigation . It’s long overdue. Teachers don’t care anymore. We blame the children because we have to find somebody to blame. Stop and check the teachers out. Some are there just for the money. The Government of Dominica doing too much for Education and some children just cannot shine. Teachers cannot deliver.

    • DGS Teacher
      June 30, 2014

      Well since you single out our school I will do you like a dominican and put you firmly in your place. First and foremost the commitment from the teachers at DGS especially those at the forth and fifth form is beyond exemplary and reproach for you information and I highly suspect that you are one of those parents who either have these problem kids that torment teachers lives, strike security with rocks and throw missiles allover the compound and still have the audacity to return the very next day for the well trained, highly competent and highly dedicated teachers to treat the behaviour as water under the bridge and teach them. At the Dgs under the stellar leadership of the principal ALL students are afforded the opportunity to excel. We operate like the US no child is left behind. Those who enter and cannot read their name on the chalkboard is taken to the point where they excel at cxc. These includes the mult-lingual Chinese, Haitians, and Spanish students. However, they must be willing to put in the work and aim towards excellence. There are those who do not take advantage of the teachers extension of deadlines. Unending
      attempts to assist them to correct their ways and focus on being successful. So FYI the next time you want to single out
      our school in your nonsense get your facts straight. Come and conduct a study to determine how many students at the school have parents like you ( ABSENTEE), those that never show up not even when the police is called because your child brutalized law abiding persons and the likes. Those that sit and do very little to nothing because parents like you give them marijuana to smoke or seek to sell these children for a buck. This is the mess we face as a PARENT DO YOUR PART AND QUIT TRYING TO BLAME OTHERS FOR YOU deliberate non interest and involvement in your child’s education. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT PLAY YOUR PART!!!!!!

      • Anonymous
        June 30, 2014

        Well they can’t say GSS because we only get E’ s and D’s in which we manage to get ones in five years. Scholars and bursars are scarce commodity at GSS for we get them through parents choice not ministry

      • Wow
        July 1, 2014

        Dear DGS Teacher

        Although I appreciate your frustration borne by the adverse comment posted, I believe that your response was highly inappropriate.

        Your language is not suited to a respected member of society who is charged with nurturing and guiding our children.

        You have unintentionally reinforced the contributor’s criticism of your school.

    • BRAIN DAMAGE
      July 1, 2014

      @ Truth will be reveal, in the 80’s some one used to buy five loaves of bread with a dollar but today one loaf costs more than a dollar.
      Teaching is a low paying job but a committed one. Teachers need money too. When the govt talks about 0% increase, they have to look else where to block a hole.
      So tell your MOE to quickly give an increase and the teachers will be happier to give their full commitment.

      • SMH
        July 1, 2014

        I read through DGS Teacher’s comment and saw nothing appropriate in the response. This teacher is dead on target.

  16. Royette
    June 30, 2014

    Well CEO, if you all in the Education Ministry have observed a trend.. the most logical thing to do is find out the reason for it. We are sometimes quick to blame the students but there are other factors.. I don’t think there is a need for me to spell them out! The Ministry knows exactly what the issues are!!! SMH

    • Anonymous
      June 30, 2014

      I think you are on to something. She knows exactly what the problem is but is afraid to deal with it because it would require an investigation and her job may be in jeopardy. So just talk about it, blame the student and revoke the scholarship might be their solution.

    • Pestle
      June 30, 2014

      I agree with you .

  17. Anonymous
    June 30, 2014

    As a parent, from what I have observed during GSAT preparation, parents put a lot of pressure on the children to study, to stay up late, to attend endless classes, to memorize, to practice. They spend many hours with the children and drill them for weeks and months.

    The child get a scholarship and goes on to secondary school. What do I see next? The same parent is suddenly nowhere to be seen. The children are now left to fend for themselves, to study on their own, no help, no guidance – maybe plenty encouragement – but the fact is, no spoon feeding. The result – the child doubles first form.

    It is better to train your child to be an independent learner, guide them in their studies, encourage them to study daily, practice with them, test them but do not make them dependent on you. Don’t teach them to pass exams. Teach them to learn.

    • unknown
      June 30, 2014

      i agree with you 100 %

  18. June 30, 2014

    Universal Education at its best along with bad salaries at its best. Right now teachers are saying they not killing or hustling themselves for people children. :oops:

  19. Anonymous
    June 30, 2014

    There should be a serious body of Professionals in the field of education along with a commited parents group , to work on this matter. We already have so much negative affecting our youths !we cannot afford to have nothing affecting our kids education , doubling 1st form could be a lasting effect on a child high school yrs, let’s take control of this matter NOW.

  20. hope
    June 30, 2014

    getting island scholar or being on top of the list is one thing.performing in high school is another

    • ???
      June 30, 2014

      If a student has the capability to do well and top the list, then he/she also have the capability to do well in school. However it may be that the support received during preparation for the GSNA is no longer there during high school and so the students fall through. It is only hard work and constant supervision that will make a student succeed. Children generally do not like to study and they love to play, but if they know that their parents are on top of their game and constantly monitoring them and their work, they will perform. And they parents do not necessarily have to be intelligent just have enough common sense that the child cannot outsmart you. Parents need to play a more active and constant role in the education of their children and stop leaving it to the school, that cannot do it alone.

  21. anonymous
    June 30, 2014

    The students need to be held accountable for these scholarships. There should be an agreement that if they cannot maintain a certain level of performance that the scholarships be taken away. Many children and their parents take these things for granted and just waste money.

    • Can Do It
      June 30, 2014

      I had the same experience at Convent in the seventies. I was told by my form teacher that high school was not for me. I am now doing my Doctorate. Yes I graduated high school and never repeated another class. Looking back now there needs to be a transition for some students. Give them a chance. It worked for me.

      • aa
        July 1, 2014

        I was at convent myself. My teachers pushed med and i was ready to give ud cause the work load was much and i did not think i could manage. Strange enough i had a basary, repeated 3rd form and graduated. Today i have a bachelor in education and working. What our students need is encouragement. Help them not when they fail but from the start

    • Agreed
      June 30, 2014

      Anonymous

      I absolutely agree with your comments.

      The scholarship should be withdrawn if the recipients do not perform to an acceptable standard.

      Dominica has some of the best teachers and the children should take advantage of that.

    • playboy
      July 1, 2014

      BRAVO!!!!!!!!!

  22. Anonymous
    June 30, 2014

    The students need to be held accountable fie those scholarships. There should be an agreement that if they do not maintain a certain level of performance and behaviour the scholarships would be taken away and given to a deserving student.

    • playboy
      July 1, 2014

      This is where my ‘BRAVO!!!!!!!!!’ should have gone

  23. shaka zulu
    June 30, 2014

    Male role models disappearing in schools and society. Gone are the days of those great male primary school principals that use to straighten them up.

  24. Doninican Uk
    June 30, 2014

    Alas I hope not, God forbid

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