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Principals laud high school reform programme

Published:Wednesday | March 23, 2016 | 5:40 PMJovan Johnson

Scores of high-school leaders have given their approval to the Alternative Pathways to Secondary Education initiative which the Government believes will "reposition secondary education as inclusive, customised, diverse, relevant, equitable and outcomes-based".

The programme is divided into three paths and students are placed based on their performance in the Grade Six Achievement Test.

Students placed on Pathway One will access the national standard curriculum and the relevant syllabuses and programmes up to grade 13.

These students will be allowed to access the exit examinations that best suit their abilities.

Some have also told The Gleaner, at the launch of the initiative last week, that one of the biggest concerns is the allocation of resources.

Texal Christie, principal,

Kellits High, Clarendon

"I think it's a very good programme. It's what we at Kellits have been doing for the last three years and we are seeing much progress. We want to see, now, how we can do more. It tries to reach all the students with different abilities. The status quo tends to leave some students behind."

Cecelia Rowe, vice-principal, Innswood High, St Catherine

"I think it's a great initiative as we have GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test) students who come to us below 50 (average), and we normally stream our students because a lot of them are reading below their grade level. With this step, finding the way that the child learns can be very beneficial to allowing them to reach self-actualisation."

Stanford Davis, principal, May Day High School, Manchester

"I think it's a very good initiative. More sensitisation needs to be done, especially as it relates to the teachers. The idea is a very good one and I think the students will benefit significantly from it."

Jasford Gabriel, principal, Manchester High

"I don't think it's new. We are formalising something that is very necessary. We have studied multiple intelligences long ago and we know that kids are gifted in different ways. It's incumbent on school officials and the planners to find opportunities and ways so that we can include all our students in the learning process, so that they can maximise their full potential."

Patricia Bailey, principal,

Yallahs High, St Thomas:

"It's going to take a lot of initiative on the part of the teachers. It seems to want to take a lot from you personally and, therefore, you really have to buy into it. It's going to take a lot of energy, time and belief in what the programme wants to achieve. I'm really for it."

Beverly Harris, vice-principal, Bridgeport High, St Catherine

"It's a very good initiative. For my school, we are trending down the three pathways. Students would be able to be empowered and to maximise their potential. It's something that I embrace."

Carlington Johnson, principal, Carron Hall High, St Mary

It's an excellent way to go forward. Some of us in the system are getting the students at varying levels and we need programmes to be put in place to cater to all the needs. The inclusive approach is an excellent approach, [but] the resources are needed."