Better transition to secondary schools programmes needed -Caesar

Stabroek News
July 21, 1999

Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Ed Caesar, has expressed concern that some schools do not cater for the needs of children after they have written the Secondary Schools Entrance Examinations.

He noted, however, that some primary schools have programmes which are commendable. Addressing some 50 children who wrote the recent Secondary Schools Entrance Examinations (SSEE) at a three-day camp organised by the Magnet Schools' Programme, Caesar said that many of the children are left without programmes to prepare them for the secondary level. As such some do not return to school after writing the examinations while some go to school as they please. He promised that a programme for the introduction to the Secondary School level will have to be reviewed.

While encouraging children entering the secondary system to be ambitious, achievement oriented and to work and play together, he also urged them to learn very early on how to deal with success and how to accept failure.

The camp, organised for low achievers in the Magnet Schools Programme, is geared to prepare children for entry to the secondary level. It involves 15 pupils each from East La Penitence, Redeemer and Smith's Memorial Primary and two each from St Margaret's and St Agnes Primary and one from West Ruimveldt Primary. The latter three schools have been twinned with the first three named.

One pupil, Raymond Dickson, who was identified to represent West Ruimveldt Primary, died over the weekend. One minute's silence was observed at the opening ceremony of the camp.

The camp is being held at the East La Penitence school under the theme `I Am Special'.

According to the Magnet Schools Coordinator, Barbara Stephens, the camp is a part of the Magnet Schools' work programme which is geared mainly for the slow achievers who will be entering the secondary system. She noted that everyone thinks of the high achievers but little attention is paid to the low achievers.

She noted that the programme is experimental and depending on the success there will be similar activities in future. The activities planned will enable participants to take their skills to the secondary level.

The pupils will visit the Bishops' High School library where they will be given an idea as to how to use a library. They will also visit Parika on the East Bank of Essequibo, and will be exposed to drama, group activities and counselling among other areas.

Also having a discourse with the pupils at the opening ceremony was Assistant Chief Education Officer with responsibility for Georgetown, Romeo McAdam. Present, too, was Chief Planning Officer in the ministry, Evelyn Hamilton, whose brainchild the Magnet School Programme was.

The sponsors include Colgate Palmolive Limited, Food for the Poor, Ricks and Sari, Banks DIH, Bakewell Bakery, Humphrey's Bakery, Grace Kennedy (Guyana) Limited, the David Rose School for the Handicapped, a parent, Simon Prescod and teacher Wilfred Success. (Miranda La Rose)

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