Principal of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Hector Belle, is calling for remedial education in all schools.
Speaking at the Grantley Adams Memorial School speech day and prize giving ceremony this afternoon at the school in Blackmans, St. Joseph, he said: “Not just Grantley Adams Memorial School and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic but also the University of the West Indies, believe it or not. There are a lot of students attending the University of the West Indies who are having difficulty with the English language.
“In all the secondary schools we know that according to [the Caribbean Examinations Council] report most children have been under-performing in Mathematics and we need all schools starting from the primary level to play more emphasis on mathematics. The core knowledge is raised in Mathematics and English and which can be translated to reading, understanding and doing calculations… Nobody will put a $50,000 car in your hand if you cannot read; nobody will put expensive materials in your hand if you cannot read,” he said.
Belle further encouraged teachers and the Ministry of Education to “pay some emphasis on remedial Mathematics”.
“[H]elp those slow learners to reach their destination. All persons can learn but they learn at different rates. The first world countries have shown us that technical education is central to the growth of the world economies and contributes significantly to employment. They have recognised the role that Mathematics and English as the foundation for such growth.”
Addressing today’s theme “Striving Towards Excellence”, the former Boys Foundation student, who declared that when he finished school at age 18 he left with just one certificate. Heartening those who may not be as academically inclined, he said just as he was able to excel and later attend tertiary institutions before becoming a principal, they too could achieve what ever they wanted and deserved, once they made use of what they have.
“Do not give up on yourself, you determine your fate. If you don’t give up on yourself one day you will you will achieve greatness,” he urged.
Among the students awarded at today’s prize giving ceremony was Elvisco Carrington, Outstanding Student 2011/2012, who received 11 CXC passes and is presently studying Law and Sociology at the Barbados Community College.
The Chairman’s Prize went to Danielle Walkes; the Ermine Holmes Award for humanitarian efforts went to Elizabeth Williams; the Deputy Principal’s Prize — Antonia Smith, and Dondru Bullen received both the Principal’s Prize and the Drayton Carter Award.
Special mention was made of Troy Waltress, who received the Tomlin Award. He entered the school with only an average of 17 per cent in the Common Entrance Exam and was successful in his CXC pursuits, earning passes in six subjects. (KC)