THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the National Education Inspectorate ranking of schools across the island.
When you publicly categorise schools as failing or their performance as unsatisfactory, you only place those institutions in a negative light. There is a failing stigma attached to those schools and, as a result, many children cry and parents seek transfers after the Grade Six Achievement Test results are released and children are placed in those 'failing' schools.
I am in total agreement with the Minister of Education when he told children and parents to be proud of the schools they gain passes for and that they should work hard to raise the standard of those institutions, but the children won't be happy attending a school that is always branded as failing.
Although students and teachers are responsible for teaching and learning, the Ministry of Education is responsible for providing whatever is necessary for the students and teachers to function effectively. If you should visit one of the schools that are ranked failing/unsatisfactory, you will notice that the environment is not up to standard. The Ministry of Education should, however, seek to improve the conditions in which these students learn so that will make them more comfortable and the environment more suitable for learning.
The ministry is now taking schools off the shift system and this move can also help students to perform better. One school in St Ann was ranked as a failing school. It was taken off the shift system last year and is now performing at an accepted level.
Students are responsible for their actions and they should try their utmost to get an education. Ranking schools is certainly not the very best idea: improve the facilities and the performances will be improved.
Student Union Public
Portmore Community College