THE first batch of Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) students of the Christianburg Wismar Secondary School (CWSS) are in full examination mode, and believe they will make the school proud once again.
CAPE was introduced at CWSS last September and 11 students registered in five courses. These include electricity and electronics, integrated mathematics, environmental science, Caribbean studies and communication studies.
Principal of CWSS, Cleveland Thomas, said while the programme, as any new implementation, had some teething challenges, these were quickly ironed out and his teachers proved to him that they are in it, to win it.
“I know for sure the teachers would have done their best, they really caught on to the programme, they worked beyond the call of duty,” he said.
Prior to CWSS putting up CAPE candidates, Mackenzie High School (MHS) was the only school in Region 10 offering studies at that level. Thomas; however, is confident that CAPE at CWSS will not fall through the window. The 2018-2019 programme forms part of a pilot programme and Thomas is optimistic that the students will move on to Upper Six, this September, to complete the UNITS II of the programmes they have started.
“What I do know is that CAPE is here to stay at the Christianburg Wismar Secondary School, it is going to get bigger and better and we will be turning out lots of graduating students over the next five years,” he posited.
What will contribute to the success as well, the principal said, is that the CAPE programme was well thought and birthed out of planning and coordination on the teachers’ behalf.
“We planned for this, teachers would have gone off to the University of Guyana to study, so now they are trained graduate teachers because we knew we would have gone into CAPE, we had our staff prepared, so when the programme came on board, we were ready.”
While about half of the students came from CWSS’ fifth form, the other half were students from other secondary schools across Linden.
The school has taken a more technical approach in ensuring the students are equipped with the skills needed for the oil and gas industry.
“We have our eyes fixed on what is going on here in the Republic of Guyana….we have recognised we have this great resource called petroleum so we are training our students to get into that field, the industrial technology field,” Thomas told the Guyana Chronicle.
Thomas is optimistic that the 2019 CAPE results will be very successful as only success has been the mission of the school.
CWSS, built under former President, Linden Forbes Burnham, was once known as one of the lowest rated schools in Linden. The school recorded a poor performance during the 1990s and early 2000s. Coming to its saving grace, however, in 2004, was Principal Thomas who put all his energies into its massive transformation. Today, CWSS is competing against Mackenzie High, for the region’s top-ranking secondary school title.
Over the past five years, the school recorded a consistent improvement in student matriculation. In 2013, only 29 per cent of the CSEC candidates matriculated while in 2017, 48 per cent did. Thirty-one per cent (72) of the students, who matriculated at the CWSS over the past three years, were from the Industrial Technology Department (ITD).
In 2015 and 2016, 83 per cent of the candidates passed and in 2017, all the candidates (100 per cent) passed. In 2015, for the first time, after decades, CWSS won seven of the top 10 places in Region 10 for Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and this performance was repeated in 2017.