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two school stories....

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  • two school stories....

    Thirteen year old Munro College student stabbed by school mate

    10:00 pm, Mon March 23, 2015

    A 13-year-old student of Munro College in St. Elizabeth has been hospitalised following a stabbing incident early Monday.
    According to reports, the student and a 17-year-old school mate were involved in a dispute.
    The argument reportedly got heated and, during the altercation, the 17-year-old stabbed the 13-year-old.
    A police source disclosed that the 17-year-old has not yet been questioned in connection with the stabbing.
    Efforts to reach Munro's Principal were unsuccessful.

    Teacher robbed while conducting class at Angels Primary School

    7:17 am, Tue March 24, 2015

    Students and employees of the Angels Primary School in St. Catherine have been left shaken following an incident yesterday in which a female teacher was held up and robbed while conducting a class. They are receiving counselling.

    Vice Principal of Angels Primary, Gloria Crooks, told RJR News the police were informed of the incident. She explained that he held up the guidance councellor while she was conducting a class of about 30 students. He robbed her of two rings.

    And Education Minister Ronald Thwaites has condemned the incident. He said it's unfortunate that criminals continue to target schools. While deploring the incident he said he was glad that no lives were compromised.

    What nonsense! How can you have a revolution without shooting people ? Lenin 26th October 1917...
    If Christians go to heaven, I do not want to go to Heaven: Hatuey. 2/02/1512

  • #2
    This is how I see a lot of schools poor financial management of NGO money..and a very poor results educationally...nothing is done till it becomes a crisis....
    What nonsense! How can you have a revolution without shooting people ? Lenin 26th October 1917...
    If Christians go to heaven, I do not want to go to Heaven: Hatuey. 2/02/1512


    • #3
      I come from near this area and this is a positive story ..My best friend attended who told me many horros stories...

      However the question remains why were schools allowed to be so bad for so long ? 31% at grade 4 failed to meet the requirement ? This reinforces my theory that school teachers in Jamaica have been terrible especially in a poor rural area where there was minimal over sight of the investment in education..... No way this is acceptable...

      I know Rev Thwaites shares my outrage on this issue...One teacher in one year brings in innovation and changes the result bring the assesment to a level of acceptability...

      Miracle At Schoolfield Primary - Huge Rise In Literacy In Just One Year

      Share on googleShare on twitterShare on facebook

      Published:Monday | April 20, 2015Daraine Luton


      Education Minister Ronald Thwaites and Prim Lewis, principal of Schoolfield Primary and Infant School.

      Prim Lewis' leadership of the Schoolfield Primary and Infant School in St Elizabeth has been hailed by Education Minister Ronald Thwaites as exemplary.
      Thwaites, making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in Parliament last Wednesday, said the massive improvement in literacy rates at the school shows that efficient school leadership is central to getting good results.
      "This is a lady who has benefited from leadership training, and she had brought her school, at grade four, that critical level, from 33 per cent mastery to 78 per cent mastery," the minister said.
      "With solid leadership and commitment and fixity of purpose, we are well on our way to transforming the education system," he added.
      Schoolfield Primary and Infant is situated just outside Malvern in a small, rural community where the people depend on agriculture as their source of income.
      Lewis told The Gleaner that there are 144 students at the school, 18 of whom are in grade four.
      When Lewis showed up at the school nearly one year ago, only 31 per cent of the 29 students achieved mastery in the Grade Four Literacy Test. Of the 29 students, 18 were grade four students, seven of whom attained mastery in the tests. The others were students who repeated the tests because they failed at earlier sittings.
      One year later, under the leadership of Lewis, 14 of the 18 students who sat the mock exams for this year's Grade Four Literacy Test achieved mastery.
      "My mantra is that wherever I go, I must make a difference," the principal told The Gleaner.
      She said that turning things around at the school was possible because of the support of teachers, parents, the Schoolfield district and the business community.
      Competition For Students

      In addition to mandating that teachers have a reading period each day, Lewis introduced a top-reader and a top-speller competition. The students are rewarded with prizes such as books and pencils that are supplied by businesses in nearby Santa Cruz.
      "I have asked the teachers and they have consented and have been doing an early morning class," she said, noting that the grade four class is currently benefiting from this innovation, which sees students getting to school for 7 a.m., one hour before the scheduled start of classes.
      Those students, she said, benefit from breakfast, which is made possible as a result of the goodwill of school chairman Evon Redman, an egg farmer, and support from the education ministry.
      "We have an after-school programme as well, and we have a literacy specialist from the Ministry of Education who assists us with our programme," Lewis said.
      The principal said there is even a Saturday class for the grade four students which she runs. Students, she said, are asked to contribute $300 per day, but this is rarely paid.
      "I go to my PTA (parent-teacher association) and I tell my parents that you should not ever tell me, when I call you and ask you why the child didn't come, that it was because you did not have the money," said Lewis, who is in her first stint as principal.
      Meanwhile, Thwaites said the evolving story of Schoolfield is testimony to the fact that quality education can be provided in small, rural schools.

      Last edited by Wahalla; 04-21-2015, 08:39 AM.
      What nonsense! How can you have a revolution without shooting people ? Lenin 26th October 1917...
      If Christians go to heaven, I do not want to go to Heaven: Hatuey. 2/02/1512


      • #4

        Poised for growth

        Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High looks ahead

        BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor at Large, South Central Bureau
        Monday, October 05, 2015

        (L) Principal of Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High Ivorine Dwyer says her school is poised for growth. (PHOTOS: GREGORY BENNETT) (R) Principal of Santa Cruz primary and Junior High, Ivorine Dwyer shows off a record of achievements.
        SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth -- It's been a long, hard and frustrating struggle but now principal of the Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High, Ivorine Dwyer, believes her school is set for a new and glorious path.
        Her optimism has been triggered by the Ministry of Education's removal of the shift system from the school and its replacement by normal 'straight day' or 'full day' of classes and instruction.
        "This is phenomenal for students, teachers and for the parents who have long awaited the change to straight day," a smiling Dwyer told the Jamaica Observer Central recently.
        For the September term, the education ministry removed 20 schools from the shift system islandwide. An additional 12 are to be removed later this year and by 2017 all 48 schools remaining on shift will be switched to straight day, the ministry has said.
        In addition to Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High, three other schools in the Ministry of Education's Region Five (St Elizabeth and Manchester) were taken off shift last month. They are BB Coke High, Roger Clarke High (previously Balaclava High) and Hatfield Primary and Junior High.
        Knowledgeable observers of Jamaica's education say that when it first started in the 1970s, the shift system was intended as a temporary measure to find a high school space for all Jamaican children. The intention then was for the government to rapidly build classroom spaces so that the system which splits students in morning and afternoon shifts would be speedily phased out.
        However, a succession of economic crises and resulting lack of money dramatically slowed the classroom building programme.
        Critics of the shift system say that while it achieved the broad objective of providing high school spaces, it has also led to a contraction of teaching time and reduced student discipline. There are also safety issues, with children on the morning shift leaving home very early while many on the afternoon shift get home long after dark.
        "We believe that the elimination of the shift system will improve teaching and learning by increasing teacher-pupil contact time and also remove some of the vulnerabilities which our students experience being on the streets at very early or very late hours," Education Minister Ronnie Thwaites explained at the start of the September term.
        Dwyer who was appointed principal at Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High in 2005, seven years after the shift system was introduced there, agrees with the education minister.
        "Removal of shift means more contact hours (between teachers and students), more teaching hours, students can go at a slower pace and assimilate more information, they can play for longer hours, they can interact for longer hours," she said.
        She also touched on other "inherent problems" of the shift system. "You can't constantly monitor those who come in early and those who are leaving school. Everything is very fast-paced, children don't get a chance to assimilate much and the core values that you want to pass on to them many times get lost. I feel really good about the change at this school," she said.
        The expectation is that over time, Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High which currently accommodates 823 students will become a straight primary school from Grade One to Grade Six, with the junior high aspect phased out. However, the A-Step programme which caters for slow learners at age 13-15 currently accommodates 160 students and could be around for sometime yet.
        There is every indication, though, that in about two years the Junior High aspect which includes Grade Seven, Eight and Nine will be phased out.
        For the 2015 school year there were no Grade Seven entrants to Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High, there were only 22 Grade Eight students and 80 students in Grade Nine. The Grade Nine group will exit the school with the Grade Nine Achievement Test next year.
        Dwyer expects that as the systems are streamlined and the school is able to focus more sharply on core primary education, academic performances at the Grade Six and Grade Four levels will rapidly improve.
        Dwyer says her teachers are trying "their very best" with A-Step students, many of whom are functionally illiterate. The A-Step students -- most coming from other schools -- are those who failed the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Test and as a result would have been barred from sitting the high school entrance exam, the Grade Six Achievement Test.
        The situation of those students bear stark testimony to the socio-economic underpinnings of Jamaica's problems in education, Dwyer said. To begin with, she says, school attendance for children most in need of help, not least those in the A-Step programme, is very irregular. Most of those children are from very poor homes with parents and guardians who are themselves illiterate or at best semi-literate.
        "A big part of the struggle for those children is attendance," said Dwyer. "It is very weak. You will find that those who come to the A-step programme are often from disadvantaged homes and education is hardly valued and poverty a severe factor..." she said.
        For school leaders and teachers, making contact with many of those parents is a constant headache.
        "Reaching the home is a problem," said Dwyer. "You will try sending notes to those homes but then you will find that some of those parents cannot read those notes and you will find that the students cannot read for them. So it's a vicious cycle and they (children) are really at risk," said Dwyer.
        She hopes for the day when school attendance will be made compulsory under the law. "Students should be in school so it is something any government could consider," she said.
        The change from the shift at Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High is coinciding
        with belated centenary celebrations there.
        Records show that the Santa Cruz Government School opened its doors in June 1914. Dwyer explained that a "few problems" prevented the centenary celebrations last year.
        However, in April this year, a special anniversary service was held and a plaque was laid to mark the school's centenary.
        Dwyer has also been involved on a mission to record the story of the school over the last 101 years. Research has thrown up names of some of the school's leading educators and its achievements through the decades.
        To that end, she said, the school has developed a billboard or 'honour board' in the library to outline and highlight aspects of the school's history.
        "An institution without a history is going nowhere," she explained.
        Trophies and markers of achievement in academics and extra-curricular activities in more recent times also command a special place.
        Dwyer takes pride that under her charge the school, including students, teachers and staff have been gradually developing a change in culture.
        "Culture is very hard to change but as we continue to lead in a particular direction with positive values and attitudes, things have changed for the better," she said.
        "When I came here September 2005 you would have found after break that on the whole compound students just ate and dropped (garbage)... I am not saying they don't drop now, but now people are much more inclined to drop in the bin," said Dwyer.
        "So ten years ago you wouldn't come here at 10:30 am and see the place as it is today. When you come outside you would see the place paved with garbage," she said.
        "Today, the school is a totally different place. When I first came here, every single day we had fights, gang fights in the afternoon shift. They (culprits) jumped the fence and made they escape into the town. Now you do have fights but they are few and far between and mostly repeat offenders," she said.
        She claimed gangs had been eradicated at the school. "Now as soon as I get wind of gangs I step on it. Today you can't find an active gang in this school," she said.
        Dwyer believes that elimination of the shift system is the last big piece of the puzzle in the drive to unleash the true potential of Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High.
        "This school is poised for growth," she said, "just watch."
        What nonsense! How can you have a revolution without shooting people ? Lenin 26th October 1917...
        If Christians go to heaven, I do not want to go to Heaven: Hatuey. 2/02/1512


        • #5
          then i remebered this story

          Teacher's arrest sparks unrest

          Classes disrupted for near 3 hours at Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High

          BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor-at-Large South/Central Bureau [email protected]
          Wednesday, October 08, 2014 204 Comments

          Kenneth Brown (third right in front) is embraced by jubilant colleague teachers at Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High following his release on bail. (PHOTOS: AINSLEY CLARKE
          SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth -- Classes at Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High were disrupted yesterday after a teacher accused of having hit a child on September 19 was arrested.
          The teacher, Kenneth Brown, who was released on bail some time after mid-day, told the Jamaica Observer he was taken into custody on an assault-related charge. He has denied the allegation. Brown claimed the child ran into a door causing injury to his forehead.
          Brown said yesterday that he was in the process of securing the services of a lawyer through the teachers' union, the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA).
          Protesting teachers bearing placards stood at the entrance of the school from late morning to early afternoon to protest the arrest of their colleague and to demand "justice".
          They were particularly incensed when the police initially refused to grant bail. Brown told the Observer he spent about five hours in the police lock-up before being released. He believed the police relented "because of the public support of my colleagues".
          The protest abruptly ended at about 1:00 pm after the teacher received bail and was seen walking to the school from the station, a short distance away.
          His colleagues ran to embrace him and escorted him to the school.
          An impromptu celebration followed with teachers singing gospel songs in the staff room. That happened even as children who came in for the afternoon shift milled around in the schoolyard.
          School Principal Ivorine Dwyer later told the Observer that classes resumed "round about 1:30 pm". She said classes had been disrupted for about three hours.
          Explaining how his arrest came about, Brown -- who teaches Civics and woodwork-related Product Design -- told the Observer that on Friday, September 19 he was struggling to bring his Grade 8 class under control when he heard a particular disruptive noise from a section of the classroom.
          He walked towards the source of the noise and a boy ran. Brown said another boy shoved the classroom door and the fleeing boy was hit in the head by the door, causing injury to his forehead. The child reportedly developed a swelling, colloquially referred to as a 'coco', on his forehead. He was reportedly taken to a doctor by his father sometime after.
          Brown claimed that while he had a belt in hand at the time, he had not intended to hit the boy. Corporal punishment or flogging, once a common means of punishment in schools, is now forbidden by the Ministry of Education. The JTA has also advised teachers not to use corporal punishment in attempting to punish children.
          Brown said on the Monday, immediately after the incident, the boy's father visited the school and he was also aware that a report had been made to the police.
          He said he was told by the police on Monday afternoon to report to the station at 7:30 am. He said he was under the impression that he would be released on bail after being charged. However, on arrival he was told that the nature of the charge meant he would not be granted bail.
          What nonsense! How can you have a revolution without shooting people ? Lenin 26th October 1917...
          If Christians go to heaven, I do not want to go to Heaven: Hatuey. 2/02/1512


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