Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Las Chin, school rankings, and Outameni

Published:Sunday | November 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Egerton Chang, Columnist

"One other thing. How can the People's National Party (PNP) get good marks for road maintenance when the showpiece (Lady Musgrave) road leading up to Vale Royal is in such a deplorable state?"

That's a quote from my column, ''Satta' JLP, Obama, and Mark Shields', published Sunday, October 26, 2014 when I wrote about the appalling and unpardonable state of Lady Musgrave Road.

Surprisingly, by the following Friday (31st), just five days after, repairs had commenced on that same stretch of Lady Musgrave Road. Hmmm. I wonder.

LAS CHIN AND HOLIDAYS

Las Chin, delivering the keynote address at the Jamaica Association of Administrative Professionals Convention 2014 awards ceremony held at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa on October 4, 2014, bemoaned the fact that some public holidays fall in midweek, hurting productivity.

We start losing production before the regular close of shift time. It takes hours to gradually shut down machines and hours to start up again. That is lost production.

It's even worse when there are two holidays in a week with a weekend in-between, as happens in August for Emancipation Day and Independence holidays, he went on.

Further, he asserts that by making these holidays fall instead on a Monday or Friday, the hotel sector and other recreational/entertainment businesses would benefit from these long weekends.

The restructuring of the public holidays makes for good social and economic sense that benefits all.

I fully support Mr Chin in this, as it is a commonsensical and practical approach that requires little corrective action while making a tangible improvement to productivity. I implore you to add your support.

SCHOOL EYE-OPENER

A friend, Sheron Gilzean, recently posted on Facebook a ranking of Jamaica's high schools. While this was originally posted by The Jamaican Blogs (www.jablogz.com) on June 19, I had missed it.

This ranking turned my general idea of the academic standing of high schools virtually upside down. In fact, my wife and I recently filled out the GSAT registration form for the exams our 10-year-old son will be taking in a few months. I am sorry I didn't take note of this analysis before, as I am afraid we blundered on at least one of his selected schools.

Based on the 2013 CSEC results and ranking the schools on percentage of grade 11 cohort achieving five or more subjects, including English and/or maths, there were no surprises for the #1 (Immaculate-100%) and #2 (Campion - 99.5%) slots.

However, I was pleasantly astonished at #3 (St Hilda's-98.8%), #4 (Hampton - 97.7%), #5 (Mt Alvernia - 97.7%), #7 (Westwood - 95.2%), #8 (Glenmuir - 95.1%) and #9 (deCarteret - 94.4%).

Wow! Six country schools in the top 10. The two other town schools occupying the top 10 were #6 (Wolmer's Girls - 96.9%) and #10 (St Andrew - 92.9%). Incredibly, of the top 10 schools, seven are girls only, with three co-educational.

Remarkably, I didn't see any Manning/daCosta Cup contenders in the top 14. Wolmer's Boys appeared at #15-88.1%, St George's #16-88.0% and Munro #17-87.7%. Makes you wonder, don't?

Interestingly, Ardenne appeared at #19-86.6%, Kingston College at #28-70.3 per cent, and, shockingly, Jamaica College (JC) at #34-59.0%. That means that if your child went to JC there is almost an equal chance that he will fail to pass 5 or more subjects.

Notably, the LIME Super Cup finalists were JC, ranked 34th, and Holy Trinity, ranked 137th - with a minuscule 5.3% rating. In layman's terms, that means that only one in 20 grade 11 Holy Trinity student pass five or more subjects.

The Walker Cup finalists are St George's (16) and JC (34).

The Manning Cup semi-finalists appear to be Wolmer's (15), JC (34), Camperdown (41-50.0 per cent) and Charlie Smith (122 - also minuscule 7.0%).

The table of the Top 30 high schools are listed below. For a complete list, click on http://jablogz.com/2014/06/jamaicas-all-island-secondary-school-rankings.

Read and be enlightened.

Percentage of grade 11 cohort passing 5 subjects with English &/or maths

  • 1. Immaculate 100.0%
  • 2. Campion College 99.5%
  • 3. St Hilda's 98.8%
  • 4. Hampton High 97.7%
  • 5. Mount Alvernia High 97.7%
  • 6. Wolmer's Girls School 96.9%
  • 7. Westwood High 95.2%
  • 8. Glenmuir High 95.1%
  • 9. DeCarteret College 94.4%
  • 10. St Andrew 92.9%
  • 11. AlphaAcademy 92.0%
  • 12. Knox College 91.8%
  • 13. Montego Bay High 89.6%
  • 14. Morant Bay High 88.4%
  • 15. Wolmer's 88.1%
  • 16. St George's College 88.0%
  • 17. Munro College 87.7%
  • 18. Holy Childhood 87.6%
  • 19. Ardenne High 86.6%
  • 20. Merl Grove High 83.0%
  • 21. Manning's School 82.7%
  • 22. Bishop Gibson High 81.5%
  • 23. York Castle High 79.0%
  • 24. Meadowbrook High 77.8%
  • 25. The Queen's School 77.6%
  • 26. Manchester High 77.5%
  • 27. St Hugh's High 75.9%
  • 28. Kingston College 70.3%
  • 29. Clarendon College 69.2%
  • 30. Marymount High 68.0%

OUTAMENI AND NHT

Finally, let me add my little tuppence to the Outameni chronicles.

I was the director of mortgage operations at the National Housing Trust (NHT) from 1982-84. That's when the NHT was in its infancy and very committed to what its mandate was.

While there, I had the idea to acknowledge the high achievers in my department. My plan was to buy some trophies and medals to recognise these hard workers. The gold-painted plastic trophies that nowadays cost $2,000-$4,000 and medals that cost under $200 each (Emkay Sports) for a total of under $40,000 in today dollars.

I was severely 'reprimanded' by the chief internal auditor, who said that I could not do that as such expenditures were not within the 'mandate' of the NHT. That mandate being under the NHT Act (www.nht.gov.jm):

1. To add to and improve the country's supply of housing;

2. To enhance the usefulness of the funds of the Trust by promoting greater efficiency in the housing sector.

Ironically, today the NHT spends millions upon billions of dollars on Outameni and the like. Things that that chief internal auditor, I am sure, would find ultra vires and unwisely spent!

Egerton Chang is a businessman. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and e_rider69@hotmail.com.