Aug 18, 2015 News
There currently exists a disjuncture between the primary and secondary levels of education in Guyana. This is the perception of principal of the Cornelia Ida, West Coast Demerara, Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) Secondary School, Swami Askarananda.
In addition to the national top performer at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC)
examination this year, the SVN School produced a number of other candidates named in the top performing one percent.
But according to Askarananda, what has been observed is that some of these top performers might not have been able to achieve such feats without dedicated focus on improving their individual performances. He made reference to one student who secured 13 grade one passes this year who had left primary level school with a score that qualified for a community high level school.
“The average student comes to our school with a common entrance score of 450 and those are the ones that we work on building up,” disclosed Askarananda. And this approach, according to him, is imperative for any school.
“While we commend our students who have done well, we have a system of looking at those who are in the medium range or who are lower in the order (of performance),” the SVN Principal explained, as he pointed out that an education system is judged to be good when it can “bring those who are at the bottom, up.”
“That is what an education system should be all about,” insisted Askarananda, who went on to point out that “there are masses of students who are at the bottom of the list.”
“The masses of students who are at the bottom of the whole system we never mention them. We don’t know what’s going on with them,” he stressed, while pointing out that “the one percent will do well; we know that, some of them are well endowed, but it’s those who are at the bottom that need the real attention”.
He noted that while the top performers of the 2015 CSEC examination will remain a “hot topic” for a few days, efforts are not being directed to examining the real issue.
And the real issue, according to Askarananda, is to examine the overall matriculation rate of the candidates, that is, those who passed five or more subjects, inclusive of Mathematics and English.
Just over 12,000 candidates participated in the examination this year.
“When we look at the matriculation and we have a reasonable figure we can say we are doing a good job. But usually when these results are released this is overlooked completely, and all they do is mention the high flyers and so on, and we talk a bit about problems here and there and then we forget until next year,” said Askarananda.
He is however optimistic that the Ministry of Education will be looking to reverse the apparent trend where the “bottom performers” are neglected. He shared his belief that currently the system has no measure in place to address this situation since there are no alternative outlets for students who can’t do well academically.
“We have a little bit here and there but that is the thing that we have to look at in Guyana to be able to identify early, students who have an aptitude for other things and provide the necessary avenue for them to develop,” the SVN Principal asserted.
And according to him, his school is poised to help address the existing situation. Efforts in this regard, he said, will see the SVN School introducing its own early education school which will cater to better preparing students for the secondary level. Already, land to cater to the construction of nursery and primary level schools has been acquired, and according to Askarananda, “by the grace of God this will be completed.”
The SVN School is also looking to boost the delivery of Science education, a subject area the principal is convinced is suffering greatly in Guyana.
“I am not blaming anybody, but this is how things have gone for some time – our Science people, as soon as they qualify they go abroad,” said Askarananda, as he lamented a shortage of Science teachers.
Moreover, with imported teachers from India, Askarananda noted that the SVN School will seek to help boost performance in Science. Currently a building dedicated to Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is under construction in the rear of the compound of the Cornelia Ida Secondary School.
Jul 05, 2022Milo Secondary Schools Football Tournament… Over cast conditions with warm sunshine piercing through those clouds allowed the Petra Organisation’s Milo Secondary Schools Football to contest two...
Kaieteur News – I’m not sure I am good at satire though I have tried a few pieces on this page over the years and... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]