By Melissa Johnson
REGION SIX, EAST BERBICE, CORENTYNE – Region Six Education Officer Shafiran Bhajan is heartened by the performance of students in East Berbice/Corentyne at the 2009 National Grade Six Assessment.
This, she said, is an improvement when compared to 2008. However, the National Grade Six Assessment is not a Criterion Reference, as is the case of the Caribbean Examination Council Examination (CSEC), but it is a Norm Reference whereby it depends on the performance of the cohorts.
Last year, 79 percent of the students gained places at discreet secondary schools. This year 89 percent, of the 3,100 who wrote the examination, was awarded places at discreet secondary schools.
This year, 132 students in East Berbice/Corentyne gained 500 marks and above. Institutions like the Cumberland, Cropper, Port Mourant, Skeldon, and the Friends Primary Schools continue to produce top performers. Edinburgh Primary for the first time made its mark on the performance map.
Mrs. Bhajan complimented her team. “We are very happy that we have 89 percent of our students awarded places at discreet secondary schools. The performance has really improved overall.”
She cited the three-pronged strategy whereby the Region emphasized literacy and focused on the training of the teachers and NCERD supplied thousands of books. The Department also encouraged the schools to establish class libraries. Another aspect is the home/school relationship.
In Region Six there is a Regional Parent/Teacher body that comprises persons from the three Sub-Regions – New Amsterdam, the East Bank of Berbice, Canje as well as the Upper and Central Corentyne and Black Bush Polder.
This year’s results arrived at the Department of Education just after 16:00 hours on Friday. Representatives from the various schools uplifted them on Tuesday.
The top student for East Berbice/Corentyne is Raman Arjune of the Edinburgh Primary School. He scored 559 marks.
He was tailed by Dacia John, of Skeldon Primary who achieved 558 marks.
The Cumberland Primary School in East Canje gained six spots in the top 100 at this year’s National Grade Six Assessment. Some of their high flyers are Arifa Mohamed with 552 marks, Jamesha Stewart 546, Minroy Punwa 544, Vanessa Sukmangal 543, Natalia Rahoman 542, and Trevor Ramjohn with 551 marks.
Among the other top performers in Region Six were Simeon Singh, with 550 marks, and Arantxa Lashley, 547, both of the Cropper Primary School at Albion . The two were awarded places at Queen’s College.
Arantxa’s father, Dalton Lashley, is a retired head teacher. Her mother is the Deputy Head Teacher at the J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School. Mr. Lashley is encouraging parents to support their children, “Work with them, it is a lot of work. Monitor their play time…reading is very important and extra lessons helps to fill the gap.”
Simeon Singh, the son of Dr. Walter Singh of Williamsburg on the Corentyne stood firm and full of ambition as he said, “I studied hard because I wanted to pass and go to a good high school. It’s an honour to be awarded a place at Queen’s College but I may not be going there. I want to attend a school right here in Berbice so I could be close to my mother, father, and two sisters.”
Head Teacher of the Cropper Primary School Sharon Durant has been at that institution since 2004. She recalled that in 2008, three students were listed as top performers, “The students have always been doing well. They are cooperative and always willing to learn.”
The Cropper Primary had others who were awarded places at schools in Georgetown including Nirvoni Goberdhan – 533 – St. Stanislaus College and Yogeshwar Palockdharry 517 – St. Joseph ’s High School.
At the Cumberland Primary School, teachers – Sharmain Beaton taught three students of the country’s top 100, Sharilee Samuels two and Kasree Ramphal one.
Besides the six for Queen’s College, this institution also got one student for the Bishop’s High School, two for St. Stanislaus College, six for St. Rose’s High and five for St. Joseph’s High School.
The teachers all agreed that the institution is blessed with dedicated teachers who have the best interest of the children at heart. Prayers too, they said, are important as well as parents who are supportive.
The Cumberland Primary School got three spots in the top 100 in 2008 but this year’s figure (six) is the highest the school has ever had.
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