Ministry encouraged to provide sixth form guide

A concerned parent is calling on the Ministry of Education to provide a guide for sixth-form schools in Barbados.

Donna Sealy, President of the Lester Vaughan School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) expressed the need for such, as she addressed the Sixth-Form Fair held at The St. Michael School, yesterday.

She is suggesting that the Ministry provides a similar booklet to the one issued to students sitting the Common Entrance Examination – which gives a detailed look at the secondary school choices, grades needed to enter, subject offered as well as extra-curricular activities – aiding both student and parent in making an informed decision. Currently, there are nine sixth-form schools, with Alleyne School joining the list in September.

“I would suggest that the Ministry do something similar for sixth-form schools,” she pointed out.

“In addition, in the age of technology, we can look even further and provide that information on the website of the Ministry of Education… Doing so will help us parents and our children understand how the sixth-form process works.”

The Sixth-form fair, an initiative of Lester Vaughan School PTA, gave third to fifth year students from both public and private secondary schools an opportunity to hear from representatives of the island’s Sixth Form schools about what each one offers and how to choose the right subjects from early.

GUIDE from Front Page

Captain Michael Boyce, Principal of the Lester Vaughan School said that they strongly believe in providing their students with as much information as possible to make informed choices going forward.
“We recognise that at the end of fifth year our students need to continue their education. A student once said to me that she cannot attend the Barbados Community College after secondary school, and I asked why not. She said that she doesn’t have the discipline to work in that type of environment – she needs a sixth-form environment. I said to her that was commendable and I know that there are many others like her and the idea is to provide them and their parents with information,” he indicated.

President of the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPSS), Vere Parris said the fair was a fantastic idea.

He also admitted that it was a great decision by the Ministry of Education to expand the number of sixth form schools.

“The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) also expanded and diversified its CAPE offerings and that was a decision of exceptional importance to education in this region,” he expressed.
“Their new suite of subjects, such as Digital Media, Green Engineering, Animation and Game Design – tap into students creativity and allow a minimum set of student skills to cover multiple CAPE courses, once these courses are offered at the same sixth-form institution. That gives advantage to new sixth-form schools which can develop these new programmes, unencumbered by a finite staff complement offering an already packed sixth-form curriculum that has existed in some of the older sixth-form schools,” it was further pointed out.

Parris, who is also the Principal at Combermere School, encouraged all students to take advantage of the fair.

“Gather as much information as you can, that will certainly help you to make wise choices about the next phase of your education. A sixth-form education is great preparation for University education or other tertiary level studies,” he said. (TL)

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