THE EDITOR, Sir:
A NUMBER of persons have been dissatisfied with the recent ranking of secondary/high schools based on the performance of students in the CSEC/CXC examinations. Many do not believe that this method was a fair one in making these determinations. The fact is that there is no single method by which one can fairly rank our secondary schools.
I can understand the basis that was used, that of CSEC results; however one needs to consider a number of things before any ranking can be done.
1. Schools have different resources available to their students, and it is a fact that the schools that are considered to be 'prominent high schools' have more resources available to their students.
2. Prominent high schools receive students with the highest grades at the GSAT level, that is, students with a stronger foundation. This means that the approach taken to prepare them for CSEC is different and in some instances less tedious than those 'non-prominent' schools who receive students with lower GSAT grades and hence a weaker foundation.
3. The culture differs from one school to the other; some schools have to deal with the issue of violence, which severely affects the mindsets of students.
4. Some of our schools are still on a shift system, which means less teacher/student contact time and less time in an environment that is conducive to learning.
The recent ranking of schools, though seen as unfair, can be used as a means of determining which schools are in need of urgent attention and address their academic shortcomings. By no means should it be used to place blame on any group or individual, but as a step in rectifying the unsatisfactory performance of many of our students at the high-school level.