The Parent Teacher Association, (PTA) and Board of Directors of the Central High School are set to meet with Ministry of Education, (MoE) Officials this week over the impending closure of the institution.
Chairperson of the school’s Board of Directors, Ruth Howard told Kaieteur News that the meeting scheduled for Wednesday is pursuant to protest exercise held last week.
Last Wednesday, patrons of the Central High School held a peaceful picketing exercise outside the Ministry of Education on Brickdam.
The protest is part of the school’s effort to get the attention of the Ministry and other relevant authorities over reports that the Ministry plans to have Central High phased out of the public education system. Howard told this newspaper that the Board has credible information of the Ministry efforts to “phase out” the school.
Howard noted that the fact that there were no new entries at the first form level of Central High at the beginning of the school term and recent move to have students relocated; has parents and the school board troubled.
The Chairperson said that before taking steps to phase out the school, the Ministry should take into consideration Central’s performance at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) exam has been exceptional for the past few years.
Central High School has an over 80 percent pass rate at CSEC in the past three years. According to Howard, the rate has been climbing.
“I don’t think it‘s a good idea to phase a school that is performing; a school with a history of non performance maybe, but not Central High,” she added, noting that the issue came to the forefront after plans to close the school were raised by the Ministry, based on the need to renovate the building, which at present is in a state of disrepair.
Kaieteur News understands, however, that the building which currently accommodates a student body of close to 1000 children is privately owned.
Howard said parents of those students at the school are beginning to worry about the future of the school and their children. She urged the ministry to meet with them and talk about the plans for the future.
She said the board intends to protest every Wednesday for one hour until the Ministry makes a substantive decision on a positive and favourable future of the school.
Officials of the school were informed that the ministry has plans to “phase out” the school but students and teachers were not told where they will be housed once the process commences.
Previously, parents vehemently opposed the planned relocation of the institution to another secondary school, citing security concerns and the quality of education at that institution.
Additionally, the school board and alumni are concerned about preserving the legacy of the 80-year old school. Guyana’s first Executive President, Forbes Burnham is among the past students of the High school.
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