The Ministry of Education yesterday awarded 74 schools from across the country for outstanding school attendance.
The awards were conferred at an awards ceremony that was held at the National Cultural Centre as part of Education Month activities.
The Ministry of Education said in a statement yesterday that the schools were chosen after they achieved an overall attendance rate of 95% or above.
St Margret’s Primary, St Gabriel Nursery and St Stanislaus College received special awards for being the schools that would have had the most pupils with a 100% attendance rate.
According to the statement, Henry, in her address to an audience that included teachers, students and ministry officials, emphasised that regular school attendance is vital.
The minister was reported as imploring teachers, parents, communities and other stakeholders to play a meaningful role in ensuring that the nation’s children attend school regularly. She also urged teachers and their supporting staff to continue working to ensure schools are a fun and exciting place for children.
Henry said school is a “home away from home” and pupils should look forward to being there, which would improve the attendance rate.
She said the correlation between good school attendance and successful professional careers cannot go unnoticed as well as the consequences of poor attendance. Henry noted that youths who are frequently absent from school are more likely to be involved in or be victims of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson, who also spoke, said that excellence in attendance should be rewarded as it helps students to prepare for the world of work.
Hutson was reported in the statement as urging parents to play a meaningful role in this area, while also noting that parents should always impress upon their children the importance of education and how they would benefit in the long term.
He also called on schools to implement policies to further improve attendance in schools nationally.