Special classes for SSEE low achievers By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
September 4, 2002

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Children who failed to gain places in city schools because of their poor Common Entrance results will now be placed in special classes in various secondary schools around Georgetown.

These schools are Richard Ishmael, Cummings Lodge, Carmel, Campbellville, North Ruimveldt, Lodge, Ascension, St George’s, David Rose, St Mary’s and Houston. Some children have also been placed at the Sophia Special School. Pupils are required to pick up their placement letters for registration to the schools offered.

George Gilgeous, the Assistant Chief Education Officer for Georgetown, told Stabroek News the classes were created because the pupils had to be catered for, no matter how low their grades, in keeping with government’s policy of providing universal secondary education.

Some 900 children, he said, had very poor grades at the SSEE and because of that they could not be integrated into the general secondary level at present.

They would, however, be taught by the teachers at the secondary schools to which they were placed and will work at their own pace. Stabroek News understands that this decision did not go down well with some schools with some claiming that the decision has led to overcrowding.

Gilgeous said the situation has arisen because of the introduction of universal secondary education and the fact that community high schools, which would normally accommodate these low achievers up to Form Four, are now required to accommodate students an extra year up to Form Five so they can write the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations. So those children who would have ordinarily moved out of the system in Form Four are now occupying the space the Form One children would have been filling.

The phasing in of universal education led to the conversion of two former primary schools, Freeburg and St Winefride’s, into secondary schools in 2000. (Miranda La Rose)