#Jamaica, September 9, 2017 – Kingston – After successfully conducting an experiment with an all-male grade-six class in 2016, which resulted in an improved performance in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), Mico Practising Primary & Junior High began another experiment earlier this year with grade-nine students, and the school’s administration is pleased with the outcome.
For the 2016/2017 academic year, the institution registered 13 students for the first time in the school’s history to sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subject, Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPM), of which 11 passed – one with a grade two and the others at grade three. The CSEC examinations are usually taken after five years of secondary school by students who are 16 years and older.
The students who created history at Mico Practising by passing EPDM are all under the age of 16 years. They are Shenelle Samuels, Grizell Scarlett, Shamari Smith, Taciann Smith, Nasatia West, Jeneale Rose, Ashanty McDermott, Kelvin Paisley, Keanu Jones, Tyecia Lawrence and Ishama Pounall. They all received a grade three pass, except Ishama who got a grade two.
They were also part of a group of 100 students from Mico Practising, who sat the Grade Nine Assessment Test (GNAT) in the last academic year, and who all passed the examination and were placed in other high schools.
Shenelle, Grizell, Tyecia and Ishama were placed at Merl Grove High School; Shamari and Nasatia, St. Andrew Technical High; Taciann and Ashanty, Kingston Technical High; Jeneale, Gaynstead High; Kelvin, Excelsior High; and Keanu, José Martí Technical High School.
In an interview with JIS News, Principal, Mico Practising, Geraldine Allen, says the idea of students sitting EPDM at CSEC came from Dawn Duckworth, who teaches grades seven and eight at the school.
“She didn’t teach grade nine, but she came to me with the idea, so we agreed to enter some grade-nine students. With the help of Dwayne Earl, who is the Information Technology (IT) teacher, we identified the students who were the best performers in IT and used that as the basis to select them,” Ms. Allen notes.
“EDPM was chosen because that was the subject we had most resources to focus on. It didn’t require School Based Assessments (SBAs). It didn’t require too much outside of the children’s experience, because they were already doing Information Technology, and some of the areas they did in Library Science. It was thought that (based on) those two factors, they would be able to manage,” she tells JIS News.
Ms. Allen says she is elated at what the children were able to achieve, as they came to Mico Practising at grade seven with minimal GSAT grades.
“We are a Junior High School, so we do not get the children who are performing. We get the children who are at the bottom, so I am really proud of them,” Ms. Allen adds.
The Principal says she is also proud of teachers at the school, because without their input, especially from the grade-seven level, the students could not have been successful.
“The Junior High teachers work really hard with the students, particularly children who are non-performers,” Ms. Allen says.
Based on the students’ success, the Principal says the administrators of the school are considering to register grade-nine students for Human & Social Biology alongside EDPM for the 2018 sitting of CSEC. Meanwhile, Ms. Allen notes that the all-male grade-six class again performed very well in the 2017 examination.
“For the students who just graduated (from grade six), the performance was excellent. The boy with the lowest average in that class was 70 per cent, so the boys did really well. Over 20 of them in that class were placed in their first-choice school,” she tells JIS News.
In June 2016, the school reported that of the 28 boys who did the GSAT from the all-male class, 22 passed for traditional high schools such as Campion College, Wolmer’s Boys, St. George’s College and Kingston College. The overall top GSAT performer at the school in 2016, Taric Myles, attained a 99 per cent average. Mico Practising has a student population of 1,097.
Story by: Ainsworth Morris