Categorized | National News

System Change in Education

With the introduction of the National High School Diploma, Director of Education Lionel Sands said there is now a system change and mindset change towards education in The Bahamas.

Sand expressed his sentiments yesterday during Love 97’s radio talk show Jones and Company, where he explained that more students are graduating high school under the new criteria compared to the amount of students who graduated in the country over the past 40 years under the old criteria.

“When I looked at all of the students who have graduated in this country over the last 40 years, from private school and public schools, and I compare those students and place the criteria for graduation now with those students, then the percentage of students who actually graduate over the last 40 years was 22 percent of students graduating,” Sands said.

When using the new criteria that were used for students participating in the recent National High School Diploma ceremony, there was an increase in the number of students graduating, according to Sands.

“In June 2017, in using our criteria that we’ve used, we’ve had 52 percent of the students who graduate with the criteria compared to 22 [percent].  So the point I’m making is when we look at the criteria of the past and we compare students with the criteria now, less students would have graduated,” he said.

According to Sands, the students who graduated during the National High School Diploma ceremony in June “met something that nobody else in this country has met in the history of this country.”

He said he was pleased because students in the National High School Diploma programme understood the importance of responsibility.

“One of the requirements for the high school diploma is that a child, in that programme, must attend school 90 percent of the time,” Sands said.

He explained that when the requirements were established teachers were against them and said it would never happen because most students won’t have a 90 percent attendance over the course of three years.

From 2013 to 2016, Sand said he went to every school community in the country and told parents that their children won’t graduate from high school if they don’t attend school.

He also assured parents that no excuses would be accepted if students fail to meet the 90 percent attendance requirement.

“They can’t come to me to say, ‘listen my child get 89 percent attendance, give them a break.’  It isn’t happening. It’s all or nothing.  And when parents saw that you should see them, the number of parents coming to me in May, ‘please sir, please the school say the child has 81 percent.’  ‘Eight-one percent is high, please give my child a break.’ I say no we can’t because the standard is the standard,” Sands explained.

He said as a result, parents are now taking the educational system seriously and ensuring that their children attend school.

“It is not that we just want you to be responsible in coming to school, you have to be to school to be able to have that 55 hours in every single course, which is mandatory because you can get an A in a subject if you didn’t spend the amount of hours in that discipline,” he said.

“We are not considering you. You know why? Because there are some things in that discipline that the examination may not necessarily cover that you need to be successful.  That’s why you have to cover the entire thing.

“That’s the system change and the mindset change.  That’s why I’m telling you we on the right track.  We on the right track notwithstanding what people think or say.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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