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Surge in CSEC passes at schools under Centres of Excellence

Published:Monday | July 29, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Six rural non-traditional high schools have seen a remarkable spike in the number of passes they have registered in core Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects over the past five years.

The transformation was achieved through their participation in the one-of-a-kind private-sector partnership, the Centres of Excellence, implemented and funded by the island's two mutual societies, Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) and The Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS).

Speaking to some 300 principals, vice-principals and senior educators attending an Educational Leadership Symposium organised by the Mutual Building Societies Foundation, which JNBS and VMBS established in 2008 to implement the Centres of Excellence programme, Programme Manager Dr Renée Rattray said the unorthodox partnership between the rival mortgage institutions resulted in tremendous gains for the schools.

PUPILS SITTING EXAMS DOUBLE

"In 2008, there were a little over 1,600 students registered sitting CSEC exams across the six schools, and this year, more than 3,500 students were entered to sit examinations," she told the educators gathered at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston recently.

"At Godfrey Stewart High School, for example, there were only 26 students who sat mathematics in 2008, but in 2013, the school registered 186 students to sit the exam, and Godfrey Stewart also increased the number of passes in mathematics by 30 per cent over the period," she said.

Godfrey Stewart also experienced a 120 per cent increase in passes in English, moving up from 24 in 2008 to 53 in 2012.

She further stated: "In science, Porus High School increased the number of students who sat the exam from 17 to 72 between 2009 and 2012; and the passes received in the subject increased by some 243 per cent. Similar stories can be told of all the other project schools in other core subjects over the course of the programme."

Other schools, such as Green Pond High in St James, saw increases of 471 per cent in English, moving from only seven passes in 2008 to 40 passes in 2012, and a 260 per cent increase in mathematics up from five passes in 2008 to 18 passes in 2012.

The six institutions under the Centres of Excellence programme are:

McGrath High School in St Catherine

Porus High School in Manchester

Mile Gully High in Manchester

Godfrey Stewart High School in Westmoreland

Green Pond High School in St James

Seaforth High School in St Thomas