Angelou Laurence, Gleaner Writer
FOLLOWING ON the heels of the nation's declaration of Independence from British rule in 1962, Porus High School raised its flag a year later to begin its march to academic excellence.
Opening its doors to 500 students in 1963, the school has weathered many challenges in its quest to provide educational opportunities to students from across the region.
With dedicated teachers and community support, Porus High School has become a venue for notable educational achievements and now caters to more than 1,000 students. Mindful of its proximity to the university town of Mandeville, the school has steadily climbed the ladder of educational excellence, with more than 67 per cent of those sitting the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations passing five or more subjects.
While academic education forms the core of the school's endeavours, it, also strives to graduate well-rounded young men and women equipped with appropriate behaviour and character traits, civic pride, and love of country.
Students are engaged in a holistic sports programme, which sees them participating in the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association Boys and Girls' Championship and a host of other sporting events.
In 2009, the Mutual Building Societies Foundation selected Porus High School to benefit from its Centre of Excellence programme. The programme helps schools to bolster their curriculum in science, numeracy, literacy, and many other areas.
Proud of its achievements and contribution to the society, the board of management, headed by Dalton Stewart and principal Michael Stewart, held a celebratory service to mark the school's 50th anniversary at the St Augustine Anglican Church in Porus last Sunday.
Minister of National Security and Member of Parliament for Central Manchester, Peter Bunting, who was in attendance, said there were many schools like Porus High that were quietly making strides in education. He said an educated population was the surest vehicle to economic prosperity, and Porus High was making its positive contribution towards that end.
Mayor of Mandeville Brenda Ramsay pointed out that the school was the result of the work of many who had passed on such as Rose Thomas, who wanted better for the people of the region. Education, she said, was both a necessity and a requirement for communicating in a global environment and for upward mobility.
Porus High School, she added, had been integral in preparing many of Jamaica's finest men and women to take their place as positive contributors at home and abroad.
The school has a number of other activities planned throughout the year to mark the milestone, principal, Michael Stewart, told The Gleaner.