Minister of Education Priya Manickchand on Tuesday unveiled a plaque at the Bygeval Secondary School to commemorate its commissioning as an A-List school, before a packed assembly of students and teachers.
In her speech, Manickchand said that Bygeval Secondary has a great history which was made even more distinguished when the school topped Region Five with Oma Devi Nanku obtaining 12 subjects at the CSEC including six distinctions, one grade one and five grade twos. She then explained that becoming an A-List school depends on the quality of teaching and learning and Bygeval has proven itself in both areas, according to a report from the Government Information Agency (GINA).
“We give you the opportunity to learn and to be tolerant, but coming here and having an education is not enough… We want for you to be able to think independent and [whether] you chose to become a lawyer, doctor, teacher, and nurse or engineer you must give back and serve your country and community,” she said in her charge to the students.
Manickchand also pledged the ministry’s continued support to ensure that the school advances in excellence. However, she noted that stakeholders including parents, teachers and the board of governors must assist in the process.
Meanwhile, Regional Education Officer, Owen Pollard said the occasion was significant as previously the cream-of-the-crop was sent to Georgetown because of the lack of accommodation in schools in the region. Pollard reiterated that Region Five is capable of producing the highest level of education in the country, and with two A- List schools now, students will have more access to quality education. He then urged the students to care the facilities so that other pupils can benefit.
Head Mistress, Cheryl Dos Santos gave an overview of the school and noted that the ceremony also highlights the school’s effective delivery of education.
She noted that the school has always produced students of calibre, citing former president Bharrat Jagdeo as one of its graduates. Dos Santos said the bar has been set and the school has seen great improvements over the past years with commendable passes at CSEC especially in the area of Mathematics, English Language and the business subjects.
The head teacher also pointed out that the school’s aim for excellence goes beyond academics as the students also participate in many regional sports competition and debate and essay competitions and have excelled. She commended the government for the support the school has been receiving. Additionally, students and teachers were presented with Toshiba laptops from Mr Nanku, a former student of the school.
GINA said the school recently underwent a $49M upgrade that saw the rehabilitation of the physical structure, rewiring and renovations to the Agriculture Department. Four new computers and five CPUs were installed in the Information Technology Lab, while the Home Economics, Science and Industrial Technology labs were fully outfitted with the necessary equipment. The Library also received a donation of reading material and sport gear was provided for the Allied Arts Department.
The Chelsea Park, Mahaicony school currently boasts 38 teachers (from the required 30); 12 trained graduates, 2 untrained graduates, 14 trained teachers and 10 untrained teachers. It currently offers 24 CSEC subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Integrated Science, Human and Social Biology, Agriculture Science (double award), Principle of Accounts and Business, Office Administration, Economics, Information Technology, Home Economics Management, Food and Nutrition, Geography, Social Studies, Caribbean History English A and B, Spanish, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineer, Technology, Building technology, Technical Drawing and Visual Arts. Students in Grades 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 also receive textbooks in the various subject areas.
Recently, the Rosignol Secondary School, also in Region Five was commissioned as an A-list school, and a new wing was commissioned at the Fort Wellington Secondary School, to accommodate 150 Grade Seven students.