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From left to right: Standing with their prizes awarded at the school’s Speech Day are, Deputy Head Boy Kirt Goodridge, Deputy Head Girl Nicole Broomes, Head Girl Kristyn Kirton and Head Boy Stephan Edey.

 
   

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Students urged to continue tradition of excellence

12/16/2009

By Regina Selman Moore

Harrison College continues to maintain an unrivalled reputation for academic excellence.

Noting the above, principal of Harrison College, Winston Crichlow, suggested to pupils that they should delight in living up to this reputation, and should therefore take pride in their school and in their accomplishments. He was speaking during the school’s Speech Day and Prize Giving Ceremony at the school, yesterday.

“There are those who suggest that because Harrison College obtains the crème de la crème from the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Exam, fashionably known as the Common Entrance, we should not boast of our accomplishments, since we have a distinct advantage in terms of the quality of our student intake when compared to other secondary schools,” he said.

“I am then compelled to ask, what would be their reaction if Harrison College failed to produce excellent results? Would they then argue that the school has been entrusted with some of the best young minds in the country and should therefore always be performing at a higher level? Is this a case of “damn if you do and damn if you don’t?”

“The double standards also exhibited by some commentators, who never cease to amaze me. Each year around the time when the results of the Common Entrance are announced, our students are lauded for their outstanding performances in their primary schools. They are allocated to Harrison College based on their parents’ choices, but later they are criticised as being elitist and made to feel that they should take no pride in their school”.

“Students, my unequivocal message to you today, is that you must take pride in your school and in your accomplishments. You should never be made to feel responsible for the failure of educational practitioners to fashion curricula suitable to the special needs of those who clearly are not as academically gifted as you are. Continue to perform to the best of your ability” Crichlow told students.

The Principal however maintained that the school is not without its imperfections. He noted that there are challenges with some aspects of student deviance, with delinquent parents, unacceptable educational services and under-resourcing, in both human and financial terms. The school is nevertheless better able than most to cope, he said, because of the interplay of a number of related factors: the professionalism of the staff, both academic and non-academic, the support of most parents and of the alumni and the focus of students on educational pursuits.

Out of a population of 971 students, 181 prize winners were recognised as outstanding achievers, for the academic year 2008-2009. Among them were students who achieved seven or more Grade 1 passes at the CXC CSEC level and others who received Form Prizes and Subject Prizes for attaining high Promotion Marks. Two final year CAPE students, Alisia Sheppard and Rashad Brathwaite, also did the school proud. Sheppard won the award for the Most Outstanding Candidate in Technical Studies, while Brathwaite, the school’s former Head Boy, won three awards: Most Outstanding Candidate in Modern Languages, Most Outstanding Candidate in Humanities and for his twelve Grade 1 passes, the first for any student in the region, he was awarded the prize for Most Outstanding Candidate Overall in the Region. Due to Brathwaite’s efforts, the school has been declared the CAPE School of the Year, another first for Barbados.

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