Gov’t working on twinning of high schools

MINISTER with responsibility for Education, Karl Samuda, says that the Government will be twinning some high schools soon, as part of its programme to improve the general performance of students to support a more inclusive educational system.

“The strategy now is to be more inclusive, and to try to make those which are more advanced able to influence those less advanced,” Samuda said in response to questions from the Opposition spokesman on the subject, Ronald Thwaites, in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

He said that he has had discussions on the project with Thwaites, as well as a number of school principals, and that the response has been positive.

“I have had discussions with the principal of Ardenne, and we are going to twin Haile Selassie with Ardenne so that the children from Haile Selassie will be exposed to the atmosphere at Ardenne and vice versa, and that’s how we are going to bring the entire society forward,” Samuda told the House.

He said that the ministry intends to recruit some 150 coaches in crucial subjects, including mathematics, English and science, to reduce the gap between students from low performing schools and those from the high-performing institutions.

“The remediation is on the basis of additional trained teachers. We are seeking to expand the teaching staff and those teachers who would have been specially trained in remediation, so that they can assist the children to achieve their maximum,” the minister said.

Samuda also confirmed that more than 50 per cent of high school students are currently on the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH).

In his statement on the results of the PEP tests, which he read prior to questions from Opposition MPs, Samuda noted that the Government “has once again placed 100 per cent of the students in full secondary level institutions”, and that 84 per cent of the students have been placed in the schools of their choice.

He said that special needs students, who have been identified, have been placed in schools with appropriate facilities, and those who were not identified will be accommodated in special schools, once their situation is brought to the attention of the ministry.

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