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Aged 13 & over failing Pr. 5 Exams will advance to high schools- Walwyn

-says new initiative will be implemented in new school year
A section of the 87 of 92 students who graduated from the Althea Scatliffe Primary School (ASPS) on July 3, 2013. Photo: VINO
Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron V. Walwyn has announced that beginning next school year (2013/2014), students aged 13 and older not successful in their Primary Five Exams will be allowed to move on to high school where they will be placed in an intensive remedial programme. Photo: VINO
Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron V. Walwyn has announced that beginning next school year (2013/2014), students aged 13 and older not successful in their Primary Five Exams will be allowed to move on to high school where they will be placed in an intensive remedial programme. Photo: VINO
Principal of Althea Scatliffe Primary School, Marieta Flax-Headley has called for a better level of communication between the Education Department and schools.
Principal of Althea Scatliffe Primary School, Marieta Flax-Headley has called for a better level of communication between the Education Department and schools. "Any change to our Education System is often heard via the news media; and even more so through the grape vine. This should not be so since protocol dictates that the persons who are expected to implement the changes that turns out to be the dictates of the Department, must and should be informed first,” said Mrs Flax-Headley during her address at the ASPS graduation ceremony on July 4, 2013. Photo: VINO
Needing two pairs of extra hands for her awards! The Valedictorian for Althea Scatliffe Primary School this year was Kiymeiah Millington, who was also the top student in Mathematics, English and Social Studies. Photo: VINO
Needing two pairs of extra hands for her awards! The Valedictorian for Althea Scatliffe Primary School this year was Kiymeiah Millington, who was also the top student in Mathematics, English and Social Studies. Photo: VINO
Salutatorian Brent Andrew, who was the top ASPS student in Science. Photo: VINO
Salutatorian Brent Andrew, who was the top ASPS student in Science. Photo: VINO
ASPS Valedictorian Kiymeiah Millington receives a special award from Mrs Vickie Andrew. Photo: VINO
ASPS Valedictorian Kiymeiah Millington receives a special award from Mrs Vickie Andrew. Photo: VINO
The keynote address at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School on July 3, 2013 was given by Bio-medical Research Student at the University of Essex, Mr Akira Williamson (left) who encouraged the students to dream big. Photo: VINO
The keynote address at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School on July 3, 2013 was given by Bio-medical Research Student at the University of Essex, Mr Akira Williamson (left) who encouraged the students to dream big. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
Althea Scatliffe Primary School Graduation 2013. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Beginning next school year, students aged 13 and older not successful in their Primary Five Exams will be allowed to move on to high school where they will be placed in an intensive remedial programme. This is according to Minister for Education and Culture Hon. Myron V. Walwyn, who made the announcement during his remarks at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School (ASPS) graduation ceremony at Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall on July 3, 2013.

Minister Walwyn explained that for various reasons students perform at different levels. He noted that the ASPS had a total of 92 students sitting the National Primary Five Examination, 87 of which were successful. “We do want to ensure that those five students also have an opportunity to advance through secondary school education. Beginning the next school year, under my direction, a new initiative will be implemented in our high schools, allowing students that are aged 13 and older that were not successful in their exams to move on to high school and be placed in an intensive remedial programme there.”

The Education Minister further said those students would be given special attention in Maths, English and Reading to strengthen their foundation in the three core subjects.

Students that are unsuccessful at the Primary Five Exams but are under the age of 13 would be allowed to repeat their Primary 5 class. “Each child I believe has something to contribute towards the advancement of this country. We anticipate that those measures would give those students the motivation and skill to improve their education and later their offering to our community.”

Meanwhile, the Valedictorian for ASPS this year was Kiymeiah Millington, who was also the top student in Mathematics, English and Social Studies. The Salutatorian was Brent Andrew, who was the top ASPS student in Science.

Millington’s message to her fellow graduates was to never to be afraid of hard work and always strive for excellence.

Minister’s message to students

Hon. Walwyn told the graduates that the community was extremely proud of them and wants them to continue on a path that would have the community celebrating with them again.

His advice to them was to never forget the morals and values that were instilled in them by their parents and teachers as they will help them to make the right decisions at the right time. “And believe me graduates when I tell you that as we get older many challenges and even trouble will find you and decisions become more critical and harder.”

The Minister also encouraged the students to practice honesty, fairness and respect. “These are values that will remain important no matter what stage of life you are in. I urge you to have comfort in knowing that you will never go wrong holding steadfastly to those values. Having good character is always the answer for every test in life. His advice also to the graduates was for them to never be afraid of hard work as that was necessary at all stages of their lives.

To the parents, Minister Walwyn told them to keep an even closer eye on their children as the high school years are some of the most challenging years for both parent and child. “Do not wait until your child is on the verge of suspension or failing a subject or grade to meet the teacher. Form alliances with your children’s teachers to make it clear that your love for them extends to their school work and desire for them to succeed in life.”

The Education Minister had also said that the ASPS, being the largest primary school in the Territory, had performed exceedingly well during this year’s exams. “Ninety three percent of the students were successful with two students in the top 20 across the Territory.”

Principal of ASPS, Marieta Flax-Headley told the graduates their achievement suggests the teachers’ job at ASPS is done! “We have taught you, all that we have had the time and the days to teach you! For the most part, you have learnt your lessons well.”

She also shared some advice for the students to take with them to the high school level.

“My wish for you as you enter the ESHS, where you must be reminded that the rules, for the most part, have not changed; and you are expected to be a beacon of light for the better, if not to be a positive agent of change when you get there. With God’s help, I know that you can. Remember the good book states that ‘you can do all things though Christ who strengthens you’. Go there with a positive attitude, take with you respect for self and respect for all, and success will surely be yours.”

Principal’s ‘frank’ message to Education Ministry

“My wish for the Department of Education is that they collaborate with those of us who are on the ground level or more poignant the foot soldiers in this war for education. Any change to our Education System is often heard via the news media; and even more so through the grape vine. This should not be so since protocol dictates that the persons who are expected to implement the changes that turns out to be the dictates of the Department, must and should be informed first,” were the words of Mrs Flax-Headley during her address.

Supplementary needs to be ‘tweaked’

The Principal also thanked the Department of Education and by extension the Ministry of Education for providing students, who had a ‘D’ in one subject, the opportunity to do a supplementary before graduation thus enabling the successful candidates to walk with the rest of the graduating class. “I mentioned this in my presentation last year and was quite enthused to note that you were indeed listening.”

Mrs Flax-Headley said, however, that the supplementary as it stands is not perfect hence she is of the opinion that the process needs to be “tweaked” a bit. “I do hope that when we meet at our Principal Conference we can dialogue on the matter. However, seven (7) students were afforded the supplementary in regards to ASPS. Six (6) were successful making our total graduates 87 from a total of 92.”

Gratitude was also extended to the Education Department for placing Ms Sharmin Nibbs at the school. Ms Nibbs is a reading specialist “who was sent to work with our 13 plus students. Now that they are all leaving us and yes you guessed it, I have a wish…I wish that you now place Ms Nibbs at the Mighty Scatliffe as a full time reading specialist to tackle the problems at the root, that is, from the lower level so as not to have the problem spiraling to the top.”

The principal said she was not being selfish in wishing for Ms Nibbs to remain at the school. “But you must agree being placed solely at Althea Scatliffe is tantamount to undertaking five schools at once. Remember, whereas the other schools may have a single child with a reading problem at a grade level, we have five times that amount at our school. We will only be striving to be proactive rather than being reactive if we engage the problem at the root. There can only be good things coming out of ASPS and by extension the Education system if Ms Nibbs is placed to work full time at our school.”

The keynote address was given by Biomedical Research Student at the University of Essex, Mr Akira Williamson who encouraged the students to dream big.

Among those present at the graduation ceremony were Minister for Communications and Works and former student of ASPS, Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool and Fifth District Representative Hon. Delores Christopher, who also sponsored a few of the prizes.

The Master of Ceremonies (MC) was member of the ASPS Class of 1995 Mr Kareem Hull.

24 Responses to “Aged 13 & over failing Pr. 5 Exams will advance to high schools- Walwyn”

  • Hmm (04/07/2013, 13:16) Like (5) Dislike (28) Reply
    myron u good in ur freakin head
  • Education (04/07/2013, 13:25) Like (17) Dislike (5) Reply
    This makes a lot of sense. It would boos the kids' self esteem, give them encouragement and a chance to redeem themselves. Keeping them in Primary school at the mercy of a stupid examination makes no sense. There are kids who do well during ongoing assessment then fail exams so they can't be judged on that alone. This is a good move thanks Walwyn. Let's hope that the program is a proper one and will be consistent and not just a dump heap for so called 'slow' kids.
  • apple pie (04/07/2013, 14:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    lovely pic vino you are the best! big ups to all students
  • pink (04/07/2013, 15:15) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Reading is the key that unlocks every other area in education. Parents, take time and work with your kids do leave it solely up to teachers and by extension the education department. Therapy Services has a program for kids that struggle with reading.
  • . (04/07/2013, 15:18) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
    pure bull!
    • L*ar (04/07/2013, 15:53) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      . If Andrew or Fraser said the same exact thing then it would be pure brilliance. LOL you all are so stupid.
  • tirtin (04/07/2013, 16:27) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    a'write, i just wate till i tirtin an i gong high schul
  • x ray (04/07/2013, 18:09) Like (5) Dislike (33) Reply
    School children say Ms. Henley suck it to Myron about the poor Ministry and department of education
  • LOL (04/07/2013, 18:16) Like (1) Dislike (53) Reply
    Doing it right is what it is all about. Very good move Marieta Flax-Headley What a difference in leadership.
  • Hmmm (04/07/2013, 20:26) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ms. Federicks I love you bad bad
    • Pluto (09/07/2013, 09:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Ms. Fedricks was the best thing that ever happend to St. Georges. Their standards dropped the minute she walked out the door. ASPS you got gold on your hand there.
  • Grandma (04/07/2013, 22:13) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Thanks Mr.Minister! God bless you sir.
  • ooooo (05/07/2013, 00:12) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    i never hear worst!!! this is worst than what they accused andrew of doing
  • l (05/07/2013, 09:57) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    So if I am 13 or older and in class 5, I don't have to work too hard because I will be promoted to high school anyway? This doesn't make sense to me.
  • ann (05/07/2013, 10:45) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thanks Minister Walwyn...You are the GREATEST!!!!.. I think in life everybody deserve another chance, if these kids failed the primary five exam and are getting older why not give them a chance in the high School. In my days that use to happen and guess what some of those trail children ends up on top of the class during graduation..they excel during they high school years..some people learn in their early stage others in their late stage..ONCE AGAIN BIG UP MINISTER YOU ARE REALLY FOR THE YOUTHS!!!!
  • Common Sense (05/07/2013, 11:20) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    This has been practiced in many of the Caribbean Countries and the kids who failed the exams do exceptionally well..This is a fantastic idea, give everyone a chance at education. Good going Mr. Walwyn
  • Rorry (05/07/2013, 13:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I understand why this is being done. It doesn't make sense to keep a child back until they age out of the system. Albert Einstein once said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Chances are, these kids who are 13 and still in high school, failed the same class repetitively and keeping there one more year without trying to find the root of the problem probably would wield the same results and the previous year. While I do understand why this is being done, I think it's wrong. If these kids struggled in primary school, how will they improve in high school? The classes sizes are much bigger, the courses are more demanding and there is more independent work than in primary school. Not saying that the teachers don't care about the students but that they expect the students to do more things on their own and come and ask for help when they need it. High school is a different ball game from primary school and these kids may not be able to handle it.

    Further more, I think there needs to be more focus on learning disabilities. I've been out of school for a while so I may be wrong on this but I feel like there isn't much talk on diagnosing learning disabilities and the teaching style isn't flexible enough to deal with kids who have them. Perhaps these kids who are struggling in school are smart but just need to be taught differently. Maybe they just need a slower pace or more time to complete exams or a different manner of presenting information. I think there needs to be more focus on helping kids with these problem and the public needs to be educated on the signs of learning disability. That way, teachers would know how exactly to help their students and parents would know if they need to get their child tested. Perhaps if these kids were screened sometime in primary school, they would have performed better in school and the pass rate would have been higher, not because we lowered the standard and hid supplementary exams but because we found a weakness and fixed it.

    I think the home dynamic of these children, passing and failing are important. I'm not going to discuss the differences between single parent households and double parent households. Instead I am going to discuss the involvement of these parents in their children's education. I think children do better in school when their parents are more involved in their education; making sure homework is done, meeting with teachers to discuss grades, enrolling their children in afternoon classes to improve on weakness and etc. I am by no means attacking the parents of these struggling kids because I have no doubt that some of them do all that they can for their children, but, there have been times I have seen kids of primary school age, out on the street all sorts of hours of the night on weekdays when they should be home doing homework or studying or something. I will not pretend to know the circumstances that causes these children to be anywhere but home at these late hours but these sort of things affect the children. I cannot say whether or not homework and studying gets done earlier in the afternoon but I have no doubt that these children go home tired since they are young and I have seen some out as late at 1am. Assuming that a child has to get up around 6 or 7 am to get ready for school, there is no way that these young children can function properly on 5 or 6 hours. They need at least 8 hours of sleep. While I am not a fan of the 'nanny state', I do feel like this is something that should be looked into. All that may be happening with these kids is that they don't have the support they need at home.
  • Good Going (05/07/2013, 14:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI have been running a slave system. Do ABC and you go on. The reality is school/education system serves the purpose of equipping individuals with certain skill sets, behavioural patterns and some level of discipline. Much of the information taught will not be used again, believe it or not. School prepares your mind for the work environment, to deal with challenges, emotions etc...

    Keeping back a child because they did not answer the way someone deemed they should have answered, have not helped many. I see many individuals that I know who were not dumb but fell through the cracks of the educational system and their lives and ability to gain meaningful employment was affected .

    This is 'ONE' of the best moves Mr. Walwyn have made since being elected. As adults, when we fail the first time going into an exam it is discouraging and hurtful. Can you begin to fathom what many of these 10-12yr olds face after failing once???????????????a second time is more terrifying and sometimes 'WE' all of us as adults end up doing worst because this time our nerves have taken over. Many of them at that young age develop Anxiety Disorder and it goes undetected for years. Some turn to drugs for help, at that age coping with repeated failure is not easy. Therefore, this move benefits the society a whole lot more than people realise right now.

    Allowing them to advance happens in various global school systems and it is certainly a British philosophy. HOWEVER, the follow through is the KEY - it is important. So I would ask Mr Walwyn to make sure that he is hiring specialist teachers to help them.

    Many of those students are not slow or dumb. Many just have learning challenges that no teachers picked up on. Please, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure that the Ministry of Finance and the Premier allow you to hire Specialist teachers. It is the only way this will work. Putting them in remedial classes without the required help, is a recipe for disaster.
  • nonsense (06/07/2013, 19:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ayoo go on mahn..turnin diss country into a big fool fool...if i 13 in primary 5 and i knoo i done goin on u tink i goin study mycwukk..no mahn..let the children hav ambition..if they knoo dem old let them work hard to get promoted..if dem fail again izz da slow school dem need yo go..case closed
  • AC 360 (07/07/2013, 15:31) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hard work always pay big dividends and do now sway from your goals students onward now to shine at the ESHS
  • A Proud Auntie (09/07/2013, 18:12) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Honk the horn! Honk the horn! Kimmi is coming through!

    I am extremely proud of you Kimmi!! We all are! We love you and continue to remain focus in your future endeavors.

    Signed…Millington Family.


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