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Barred from Calabar! - Students with less than 60 per cent average will be barred from entering fifth form; parents upset

Published:Wednesday | August 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Fourth-form students at Calabar High School in St Andrew whose average is less than 60 per cent will not be able to move on to fifth form in the new school term.

A decision by the Calabar High School in St Andrew to bar students who attain an average of less than 60 per cent from entering fifth form has not gone down well with some parents.

The Gleaner obtained a copy of a letter from the school, signed by principal Albert Corcho, that stated that in order to "be promoted to grade 11, each boy MUST receive no less than 60 per cent for his overall average, along with good conduct. The students have been told this repeatedly. It is my intention to promote every fourth-form boy to fifth form. Please assist him to surpass this average. Students with unsatisfactory grades will be given letters inviting their parents ... ."

This means that come the beginning of the new school term next week, fourth-form students who do not meet the standard will not have a place at the all-boys institution.


Under pressure


One parent, who did not wish to be identified, admitted that her son was having difficulties maintaining a satisfactory average but noted that it was equally challenging for her child to not be enrolled when school resumes in September.

"His average was between 35 and 40 per cent," she told The Gleaner. "I have spoken to the principal. I did explain to him the circumstances with my son and what was causing his average to fall, but basically, he (Corcho) was not appreciative of what was happening."

She continued, "The students are under pressure from so many angles. I don't know if there were any programmes that would help the boys in terms of personal development. Were there mentorship programmes going on to help the boys? For example, behavioural problems. My son did not have behavioural problems, but there are some personal issues. He's a bright child, but it's just that he's going through some things right now."

The letter, which was issued to all parents of prospective fifth-form students, addressed other issues, including guidelines for school-based assessments, examination fees, requirements for graduation, and sixth-form matriculation.

When contacted yesterday, the principal told The Gleaner that he would not be addressing the matter in the media.

Education Minister Ruel Reid said he had received reports and was investigating the matter.