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12th Grade students ‘felt targeted as Guinea Pigs'- Sandy M. Underhill

- Hon Myron V. Walwyn not out of the woods yet as race to complete 12th Grade facilities for new school term is on
Principal of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS), Sandy M. Underhill said the 2017 graduates of ESHS did exceptionally well, considering the various challenges they faced, including due to the Grade 12 Programme. Photo: VINO
The Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) recorded a 98% pass rate, with 159 students successfully achieving all requirements to graduate. Photo: VINO
The Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) recorded a 98% pass rate, with 159 students successfully achieving all requirements to graduate. Photo: VINO
Controversial Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL) said the Grade 12 Programme was on the cards for over a decade and he could not wait for all the ‘ducks to be lined up.’ Photo: VINO
Controversial Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL) said the Grade 12 Programme was on the cards for over a decade and he could not wait for all the ‘ducks to be lined up.’ Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The controversial additional school year imposed by Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn (AL) brought many unexpected hardships on students, parents and teachers alike; however, they have persevered under the circumstances.

Cheers and excitement filled the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on June 22, 2017, as the first batch of grade 12 students to graduate since the recently established school year.

Firing shots at the naysayers, Hon Myron proudly congratulated the Class of 2017 on their success and said he had to push through with the Grade 12 Programme as it was on the cards for over a decade and he could not wait for all the “ducks to be lined up.”

“Many see the initiatives of the Ministry as too many, too fast, but if we take a look at the world around us and the new premium placed on competence, we will see that we have a lot to do to get on track and to ensure that our young people are in a position to compete with the best,” explained Hon Walwyn.

He continued, “Graduates, you have indeed worked hard and persevered, and here you are today marking yet another significant milestone in your lives. You have done well and I am extremely proud of all of you.”

‘The most qualified set of students’

The Education Minister, during his congratulatory speech, boastfully described the Class of 2017 as “the most qualified set of students to graduate from secondary education” in the Territory.

The Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) recorded a 98% pass rate, with 159 students successfully achieving all requirements to graduate. Of those students, 4 received high honours and 71 received honours. Additionally, Kelliann Freeman who placed second in the territory and first at ESHS with a grade point average of 4.07.

With the implementation to make five CSEC examination compulsory for receiving a Government scholarship, the minister disclosed that a total of 32 graduates have already met the requirements to qualify for a Government scholarship based on their Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) subjects.

He added that there are 28 graduates, still awaiting their results but are well on their way to meeting the scholarship requirements.

“It was important for us to make the five CSEC examinations compulsory for receiving a Government scholarship at this level, because it helps to give more credibility to our local education system. If our system is to be considered a strong educational system, then it must follow that our students should be able to sit and pass regional examinations,” noted the minister.

‘Targeted as guinea pigs’

“It has been a long six years and what a year it was. A year of immense change that made you feel like you were being targeted as guinea pigs to be taken to the slaughter. You have experienced some of life’s steep mountains and rough seas, but you learned to climb and you learned to swim. You adapted, you persevered, and you are victorious today,” remarked Mrs Sandy M. Underhill, Principal of ESHS.

The Principal of ESHS commended her graduating Class of 2017 on their hard work, despite the many, many challenges that occurred with the Grade 12 initiative.

“Our students did exceptionally well, considering the various challenges they faced – having to relocate to a new campus; coupled with the rigour of the curriculum they were exposed to this year- which included the demands of CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations) and college credit courses; in addition to being involved in extracurricular activities,” Mrs. Underhill stated.

While this year’s Grade 12 initiative was considered success, Hon Walwyn is not out of the woods yet. He will remain under tremendous pressure and criticism as the facilities to house the upcoming grade 12 are not yet ready. As a result, this may once again force the students to be relocated to the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) campus.

8 Responses to “12th Grade students ‘felt targeted as Guinea Pigs'- Sandy M. Underhill”

  • NDP voter (24/06/2017, 09:14) Like (20) Dislike (8) Reply
    Dr smith when will you reshuffle your cabinet? Put myron at labour and dr pickering in education
  • @NDP Voter (24/06/2017, 12:17) Like (6) Dislike (12) Reply

    WHY! Both Ministers have done a very good job in their current portfolio, I don't see the need for the change. The Premier should give up the Finance Post to the Minister for Health, that is what need shuffling although the Minister for Health, has done a very good job also. But stubbornness cause his other ha** is calling the shots not him, is why we in this mess. Is like cutting your nose to spite your face, which is worse?

    • Reply (24/06/2017, 19:16) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
      THE WHOLE OF THEM NEED TO RESHUFFLE IS TOO LATE HELL NO NOT ONE OF THEM HAS DONE A GOOD JOB JUST TOOK FROM THE PEOPLE
  • blah (24/06/2017, 14:28) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    Who cares where the students are located. You heard from the students themselves it was challenginf but they are PROUD of themselves. Whether they do another year at HLSCC or move to ESHS campus its a good thing for our system. Where are the naysayers now?
    • @blah (24/06/2017, 17:53) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
      An A is no longer an A! Those behind the scenes know what is REALLY going on. Meanwhile the public continues to be sprinkled with fairy dust!
  • Florida (24/06/2017, 18:20) Like (3) Dislike (13) Reply
    I was born in the BVI and went to school in Florida, I just graduate from 12th grade and it is important to complete 12th grade. Some people complain that it makes no sense what Mr. Myron is doing. He is doing the right thing. I had 8 classes a day, 2 hours worth of homework every night including research and study because every teacher you have, they assign homework everyday. You students in the BVI have it easy in school compare to the work load we have/had.


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