Categorized | National News

Education Minister Committed To Graduating Standard

Education Minister, Jeffery Lloyd revealed during his contribution to the 2019/2020 Budget Debate that less than 50 percent of students in high school across the country leave school with a high school diploma. 

In 2017, the first set of high school students graduated out of the  Bahamas High School Diploma program (BHSD). Mr. Lloyd says  that since the program was implemented it “is causing a little bit of consternation in the Bahamian society”. 

Mr. Lloyd also noted that when the program was implemented it was done to raise the standard of those graduating in order to properly infuse them into society. 

“Since 2017, the criterion  for  graduation has been standardize across this country, and we want it to be standardized, so that we can ensure that there are quality graduates that enter into society. 

“However, as of this date, only 46 percent of our school leavers qualify for a High School Diploma,” Mr. Lloyd said. 

He  added that the country is committed to ensuring that by 2030,  those leaving high school will meet the minimum standard set. 

“Our students must graduate from high school. You need to have a high school diploma, not a certificate of attendance.

“You don’t need a ‘BTS certificate’ -been to school-, you need a diploma. That’s how you get into college and that’s how other agencies [and] enterprises recognize  you as being worthy. 

“And we are doing everything that we can to assist our students. Teachers and administrators are working over time, offering  extra tutorials, afternoon and weekend classes in order to help those students who need the help,” Mr. Lloyd said. 

However, the Minister  said what is disappointing about the Ministry’s desire to increase the graduation rate from 50 percent to 85 percent by 2030 is that parents and children wait until twelfth grade before taking the eight criteria needed to be met seriously.

“So many parents wait until the twelfth grade to come to petition the Ministry of Education to ask for some concession in these, what we consider minimum standards. 

“You did not pass the BJC in grade 9, the Ministry allows you to take the BJC in grade 10 and in grade 11 and if you still didn’t make it, in grade 12, they give you until August of your twelfth year. 

“Yet, we have parents who come and ask us to please, would you Mr. Minister, give my son, my daughter the opportunity to graduate; she only missed the Science or she only missed the Math,” Mr. Lloyd said. 

He  added that the standards are already at the lowest and suggests that parents become more involved, working with their children earlier rather than waiting for the last minute as statistics show that 70 percent go into the workforce once leaving high school. 

He added that it is the responsibility of the nation to ensure these individuals are equipped to function, and make meaningful contributions to a fast developing global economy.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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