Sun | Dec 5, 2021

All-boys’ sixth form opens in MoBay

Published:Wednesday | September 9, 2020 | 12:12 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Ronald Thwaites says that Monsignor Gladstone Wilson College will offer courses in ethics to build a better society.
Ronald Thwaites says that Monsignor Gladstone Wilson College will offer courses in ethics to build a better society.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Sixty young men from Montego Bay and other parts of western Jamaica will become the first students to enrol at the Monsignor Gladstone Wilson College, the country’s newest all-boys educational institution.

The Rev Ronald Thwaites, education minister in the former Simpson Miller People’s National Party (PNP) administration, said that the school will start for the 2020-2021 academic year with a sixth-form programme and gradually morph into a full high school for boys.

Thwaites said that the Roman Catholic school was starting at the sixth-form level at the suggestion of Dr Michelle Pinnock, Region Four director at the Ministry of Education, to fill a vacuum for students who had scored well in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams but had limited post-grade 11 options.

“The thinking behind an all-male college is based on the fact that boys have been underserved in some of the sixth-form associate degree programmes,” said Thwaites, a Roman Catholic deacon.

“It is felt that there are particular educational challenges that face boys, especially those from very low socio-economic levels.”

Dave Soares, who recently retired as principal of St George’s College, will be the interim headmaster of Monsignor Gladstone Wilson, which is located on the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral property adjacent to Mt Alvernia High School.

AID FROM CAMPION COLLEGE

Monsignor Gladstone Wilson College will be sharing laboratory spaces with Mt Alvernia on an interim basis and virtual education will form an integral part of teaching and learning covering courses in science, technology, ethics, and mathematics.

“The Campion College board has agreed to assist by sharing their administrative and teacher-training practices and to offer virtual education,” the former education minister said.

“Some of their best teachers and courses will be available at Gladstone Wilson in Montego Bay. This is an excellent way in which you double up on excellence without the huge capital cost.”

Thwaites argued that the Roman Catholic Church and the wider religious community were equipped to impart ethics in society.

“It doesn’t make sense if we have young people who end up with wonderful academic and vocational qualifications, but they don’t know how to live with each other,” Thwaites said.

“They don’t know how to respect themselves, to love others, and to be good citizens – that’s the value proposition we are offering.”