Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
AS THE new school year got under way on Monday, some upgraded high schools have been taking steps to improve their standards, but they are confronted with a number of challenges that could hinder their progress.
Principal of Tarrant High School, Garfield Higgins, painted a worrying picture of the school environment, which he said poses a threat to the students.
"There are some electrical issues at the school that need to be attended to. If these problems are allowed to continue without being corrected, this is something that could result in damage to equipment and, quite possibly, a fire, so it needs attention.
"I think that issue is long overdue for solving, because it is impacting on the performance of my students and the performance of my teachers in terms of their comfort level, and this is a problem that has existed at the school for over 10 years now," he added.
But that is not the only problem the school has to contend with. Higgins indicated that when it rains, some classes are flooded due to leaking roofs.
He further added that the school continues to battle with financial challenges as a result of limited funds from the Ministry of Education and the difficulty to collect auxiliary fees.
Despite this, the school has redoubled its effort this school year to improve on the literacy level.
"During the summer, our teachers did a programme of intervention with a specialist from Mico ... we have identified the students who are short in some areas, and we are this year putting extra resources to correct the problem."
Higgins said the school, with a clear objective of being a first choice in the next 10 years, has managed to gain good marks in the last sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations and is working to do even better in years to come.
Meanwhile, Pembroke Hall High School also had a few glitches at the start of the school year.
"We are having an issue with furniture, because we didn't receive any from the Ministry of Education, so we have to be doing our own repairs. (At the) last count, we were able to repair more than 100 chairs so that school could be ready to accommodate the students," Pembroke Hall High School vice-principal for shift two, Sharon Foster, said.