[www.inewsguyana.com] – Located on Mandela Avenue, the North Ruimveldt Secondary School has been elevated to the rank of an “A” list school, which is seen as a significant boost for the institution in its pursuit of higher learning, and is also a reward for its extremely good performance at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations
North Ruimveldt Secondary is the only school in Guyana that has worked its way from a lower to a higher category (“B” list to “A” list), and commendations were extended to the students, teachers and parents for their efforts.
The school, which was offering 24 subjects, has now added four others, Mechanical Engineering, Physical Education and Sports, Physics and Visual Arts.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand along with Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam on Friday, February 27 unveiled the plaque to commemorate the school’s shift in status.
To bring North Ruimveldt to an A List school, Government expended a significant amount of funds to ensure the necessary infrastructure and resources were made available. To this end, rehabilitation work was done to the classrooms and the sanitary block. The ceiling, sinks, and damaged bowls were replaced on the latter, while the damaged ceiling in classrooms was restored and classrooms and auditorium repainted.
Work was also done to accommodate the Allied Arts department which will house the music, visual arts and physical education units. The agriculture science department was also extended to cater for a component of the syllabus while damaged computers were replaced and an air condition unit was installed in the Information Technology Department. A Librarian was appointed as well.
Students of Grades 7 to 11 were presented with recommended text books for the respective subjects.
In terms of staffing, the school is just one less than its required 38 teachers. There are nine, trained graduates, four untrained graduates, 20 trained and four untrained teachers, two part-time staff members, a music and an electricity specialist. There is need for a mechanical engineering teacher.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand noted that this is a significant milestone and represents what Guyana is capable of, and how the country can develop.
The school also has the first Interactive smart classroom in Guyana. Minister Manickchand announced that one such classroom will also be installed at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), and at the Government Technical Institute (GTI).
According to the minister, this initiative is intended to allow teachers to teach students interactively, through technology.
“That is what Guyana is, what Guyana is moving to, and we are going to get there very soon. That is the future of education,” she said.
While highlighting the strides made in the education system, Minister Manickchand explained that the education sector receives the largest chunk of budgetary allocations. Guyana has already achieved Universal Primary Education and Government is now seeking to achieve Universal Secondary Education within a five-year period.
According to Minister Manickchand, 67,000 secondary aged children are accessing secondary education, a 90 % increase over the last two decades. In the last five years, eight new secondary schools were built, and 31 primary tops amalgamated, she said. There are also 12 hinterland secondary schools with another coming on-stream soon.
Today, the number of students dropping out of school has declined to 2 %. Additionally, the ministry has also been working towards having more boys excel academically. Minister Manickchand highlighted that in the last three years, 2, 000 more boys were retained to complete secondary education as a result of the programmes injected into the schools to attract them. In 1992 only 18% of the students who wrote Mathematics passed and in 2014, 38% passed, while in the area of English Language, 9% passed in 1992 and in 2014, 46% passed.
Five years ago there were about three schools with labs; in 2014, every school had a computer lab. In terms of trained teachers, in 2001, there were 50%; today 59% are trained with most of them being University of Guyana graduates.
However, Minister Manickchand said that while much has been accomplished, there is a lot more to be done. Meanwhile, the Chief Education Officer described the event as one of the most significant achievements in the education system, as the Education Ministry strives to put every school on a developmental path.
“This school is now a trend setter,” he said and it must maintain this status and continue to advance.
In 2010 the Education Ministry began ranking all schools based on their matriculation rated at the level of CSEC, from A to D with the hope of raising awareness and spurring within them a desire to elevate themselves.
Sam said that some were of the view that children from the South of Georgetown underperform as compared to children from the North, and the children did not value education as much.
In November 2013, the Rosignol Secondary school in Region Five was upgraded to A list status, while the Bygeval Secondary was similarly upgraded in December of the same year. [Extracted and modified from GINA]