Bishops' High records 93% pass rate at CXC

By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
September 3, 1999

Bishops' High School has maintained the level of performance it achieved last year, with as many students recording similar numbers of grade one passes this year.

Headmistress Maureen Massiah told Stabroek News yesterday that she and the staff of the school were pleased with the children's performance, which had soared last year, after experiencing slumps in previous years.

Significant improvement was noted in English Language. The school recorded a 93% overall pass with grades one to three passes compared with an 88% pass rate for last year. Massiah credits this achievement to a strong English Language department. Some 115 candidates wrote English and 108 were successful.

This year was also the first time that the school entered 13 candidates for Information Technology and all were successful. Camille Correia, one of several students who gained seven grade ones also obtained a grade one in the subject.

In Mathematics there was a "slight but significant" improvement as well. The pass rate moved from 58% last year, to 62% this year. Of the 125 candidates who wrote the subject, 75 succeeded with grades one to three.

Social studies saw a 99% pass rate; some 101 students wrote the subject and 100 were successful. Another area with which the school was happy was Spanish in which there was an 86.9% pass rate compared with 54% for last year. History has also improved from 77% to 95%.

The school also recorded 100% passes in Art, Food and Nutrition, Home Management, Information Technology, Office Procedures, Principles of Accounts and French, subjects which smaller numbers of students wrote.

Massiah said though that the school has no full-time science teachers and students were forced to take extra lessons outside the school in these subjects.

The top students who spoke with Stabroek News said that they did take extra lessons in Integrated Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Spanish. Extra lessons were not encouraged by the school but was an individual choice. In all the other subjects, students worked along with their teachers.

The school's top student was 16-year-old Reshma Singh who will be going on to Queen's College to write science subjects at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and General Certificate of Education (GCE) A-level examinations. Singh was one of three students at her school who gained seven grade ones out of the ten subjects which she was successful at.

Singh, a karateka and a former pupil of Crane Primary on the West Coast Demerara, said that it was fun studying. She said that because they only had a part-time science teacher, when they should have been studying they were instead working in groups on their School Based Assessments.

The other students who gained seven grade ones in addition to grade twos were Sarika Geer and Camille Correia. Other students who gained nine subjects inclusive of six grade ones were Candace Coggins, Althea Azeez, Jonelle Alexander, Jai Kissoon and Maran-Atha Taylor.

The happy bunch of students who had only just learned that their hard work had paid off, expressed thanks to their parents and teachers "who had more confidence in us than we ourselves" and friends. They all said that they had felt the examinations were tough and had not expected the grades they got. Some felt that if they had studied a bit harder they would have done better.

Kissoon's ambition is to become an aeronautical engineer and a pilot. He comes from a family with a legal background and pleaded: "Please tell Daddy, I do not want to do law." He hopes to go on to the local aeronautical school at the Ogle Aerodrome.

Geer, formerly of St Gabriel's Primary, will most likely enter the legal profession. Her colleague, Azeez, formerly of Redeemer Primary, will be returning to school to write the GCE A-levels. She is not sure what her career goals are.

Alexander likes sporting activities. All of the top students noted that they took part in some kind of sports--volleyball, table tennis, lawn tennis, swimming and even fishing as in the case of Singh. Coggins, Kissoon and Taylor were described as "sports freaks".

Coggins summed up the advice that other students should bear in mind. She said that students should not be afraid to write examinations as they were just another test. And life is full of tests, she said, adding that students must also always be consistent in their studies and true to themselves.

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