Automatic promotion restored for secondary schools

A year after revising an Automatic Promotion policy, the Ministry of Education is reinstating the policy.

In a memo dated July 14, Chief Education Officer Olato Sam instructed heads of schools and other officials to suspend the implementation of Circular No. 2/2014: Automatic Promotion/ Retention of Students to Secondary Schools until further notice. “All students in Secondary Schools will continue to be automatically promoted as per the pre-existing Circular No. 8/2009: Grade Repetition/ Retention and Automatic Promotion,” he said.

“Schools will be given clear instructions regarding action to be taken in relation to this policy in due course,” the memo added.

Last year July, after concerns were raised, the Ministry revised the automatic promotion policy and said that secondary-level students who fail Mathematics and English will no longer be advanced to higher grades. The revision of the policy, which was implemented in 2010 under then Education Minister Shaik Baksh, followed negative feedback from various stakeholders and as well, was an effort to ensure more students qualify for university education.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand said at the time that following consultations held with teachers, students, and parents in more than 30 meetings, a decision has been taken to modify the policy.

She said that the rationale behind the implementation of the policy was to create a system which would mitigate the negative effects of grade repetition.

Such negative effects include a high dropout rate due to embarrassment and the burden on students of having to repeat subjects that they may have excelled in despite failing overall.

It turned out, however, that the policy did not find popularity among parents, teachers, and even the students it was engineered to benefit. These stakeholders, Manickchand had said, expressed a high degree of disapproval for the policy and stated their belief that promotion from one grade to another should be earned and not automatic.

A consultation with these stakeholders prior to the policy’s implementation may have yielded these findings but no such consultations were held.

Asked why the ministry failed to consult the stakeholders who would be affected the most by the policy, Sam, at the time did not say why they were overlooked.

He said though, that the ministry relied on the counsel of experts in the area of education, who all thought that the policy would have been beneficial.

Since the policy’s implementation, many teachers have complained that students have become complacent and lazy. One teacher had told Stabroek News that when he chastised a particular student for not making a good attempt at his school work, the student blatantly said that he would be promoted whether or not he did the work.

Many have argued that the policy, even though implemented for two years, had taken a toll on the attitudes of children, and thus affected the results seen after Carib-bean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) sittings since that time. Sam, however, had said that since no studies were done, such an assessment could not be made.

He had noted, however, that despite the negative implications of the policy and the ensuing negative feedback, the policy of automatic promotion did have some positive effects.

In addition to the reduction of the number of school dropouts seen each year, Sam said that students, not feeling the pressure of having to excel in all subject areas, have been left to focus on the subjects that they do well in and have excelled in these areas at the CSEC examinations.


Exxon set to begin drilling new well

Just days after its major oil find at the offshore Ranger-1 site in the Stabroek Block, ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, EEPGL is preparing to begin drilling at the Pacora-1 well site.

US government shuts down as Trump feuds with Democrats

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The world’s most powerful government shut down today after President Donald Trump and the U.S.

House approves $1.93 billion for sugar severance

-number of redundant workers at 4,763 The National Assembly yesterday approved nearly $2 billion to facilitate full severance by the end of January for a little more than 1,600 of the 4,763 sugar workers that have been made redundant.

Gov’t meets unions on sugar industry’s future

Following criticism over government’s handling of the restructuring of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), President David Granger and members of his Cabinet yesterday met with the leadership of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) to discuss the future of the sugar industry.

Baramita mother, 18, succumbs after beating by partner

An 18-year-old woman succumbed on Thursday evening, one day after she was allegedly beaten by her common-law husband during an argument at Baramita, in Region One (Barima-Waini).

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now