BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, December 2, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — Mathematics continues to be a problematic subject for many of the secondary school students in the Federation, but Minister of Education the Hon Jonel Powell has given a commitment that his ministry will continue to work hard to secure students’ success in the vital discipline.
“From the results returned, Mathematics continues to pose a problem for too many of our students in all of our secondary schools,” said the Hon Powell. “I therefore give a commitment that the Ministry of Education will continue to do everything in its power to secure the success of our students in this vital discipline.”
The Hon Jonel Powell, who is also the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, gave the commitment on Tuesday December 1 at the graduation ceremony of the Saddlers Secondary School’s Graduating Class of 2020, which was held at the Bethel Moravian Church in Parsons Ground.
‘Some work has already started with the on-going Mathematics classes for teachers to take the CSEC exams paid for by the Ministry of Education,” advised the Honourable Minister. “This effort will be supplemented in the future with pedagogical training for teachers in Mathematics at all levels of the education system.”
Minister Powell encouraged all the students who were unsuccessful in their initial attempt particularly at the Mathematics to continue their efforts and to strive for the success whether at the January sitting or next June, advising them to keep at it until they make it.
“I wish here to acknowledge Janella Belle, T’Andrey Carey, and Chelisia Taylor for returning passing grades in all of the subjects that they sat,” said Education Minister Powell. He also acknowledged the success of another eleven students “all of whom passed all their subjects with exception of Mathematics.”
Present at the graduation ceremony were Deputy Speaker, Senator the Hon Dr Bernicia Nisbett, who was the guest speaker; Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Education, Mr William Hodge; Chief Education Officer, Dr Debbie Isaac; Deputy Chief Education Officer, Mr Francil Morris; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Mr Daryl Lloyd; and Area Parliamentary Representative and Leader of Opposition, Dr the Hon Denzil Douglas, among others.
The Ministry of Education, the Hon Powell noted, appreciates the fact that the struggles by the graduates were compounded by the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic which not only disrupted their instruction but affected the household income of many of their families.
He added that such an experience is unprecedented both in its scope and impact within the current lifetime, but despite the challenges of exam preparation in general and the impact of the coronavirus in particular, the graduates could proudly stand at the graduation ceremony and enjoy a measure of success for their hard work in an effort to secure their future in spite of the odds.
“The challenges you faced as you prepared yourself to take your final exams can be viewed as a training experience for the many challenges and obstacles that will cross your way to success and the life you have envisioned for yourselves,” commented the Hon Powell. “If your success at your just concluded CSEC examinations is any indication of your success in the future, then I declare that your future is looking bright.”
The graduation ceremony, which was the sixth, was held under the theme ‘The Vision, the Mission, the Success – Celebrating Ten Years of Quality Education at SSS’. Principal Mrs Julia Byron-Isaac congratulated the teachers at the school for transforming the vision into a mission, and applauded parents and the wider community for having stood behind and beside the entire school body as it worked arduously to bring the graduation day to fruition.
“As we commend these young people here today, I want us to do so sobered by the reality that these graduates have done something landmark,” said Principal Byron-Isaac. “They have traversed a pandemic academically and have risen victoriously. A feat, ladies and gentlemen and they have done it. I can only imagine the visions, the missions, and the successes that are capable in this room.”