By Naomi Marshall
IN an attempt to prepare transitioning students for the Secondary School Syllabus, the Department of Education, Georgetown, carried out a camp for transitioning students and this concluded last weekend at the New Campbellville Secondary School.
The camp, which was held under the theme, “Learning through fun,” reinforced what was taught during the Transition Class of 2018-2019 to 110 transitioning students.
Giving brief remarks at the opening ceremony of the camp was Sherwyn Blackman, District Education Officer (DEO), Georgetown, who noted that the Transition camp aimed at giving students a better chance at transitioning from Grade Six to Seven.
He stated that the camp aimed to further develop well-rounded children who were exposed to life skills training through daily talks and exercises.
“So the programme is designed to have learning through fun. So it means that even as our students will be engaged in the art and craft, music, physical education and even that of the dance and drama class, there is some element of learning that will take place,” he said.
Blackman charged the students to be cooperative with each other and to have open minds as they go through the week of undertakings.
He said, “We want to ensure that the week spent here is going to be a very exciting one, so I say to you, ensure that you have very open minds as you go through the week of activities.”
Blackman indicated that the programme has proved to be successful since students who were placed in the six-years transitioning programme were just as successful at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination in the past, when compared to students that completed the five-year secondary programme.
According to the DEO, the schools in Georgetown that host transition classes are St. George’s High School, New Campbellville Secondary School, Cummings Lodge Secondary School, Houston Secondary School, Lodge Secondary School, Tucville Secondary School, Queenstown Secondary School and St. Winefride’s Secondary School.
Three hundred and twenty-three students were in the one-year transition class for the 2018-2019 academic year. However, the camp is being held for 110 of those students.
In giving an overview of the programme, Transition teacher, Ackilma Pearce, stated that the Ministry of Education would have assessed the performance of students country wide in the National Grade Six Examination. She noted that the analysis would have motivated the Ministry to develop a special programme for students who were not able to attain the score needed to enter into a mainstream secondary school.
In September 2010 the six-year transition class was established in all 10 of Guyana’s Regions.
“These students who were not able to obtain the marks for the five-year programme were now given the opportunity to attend secondary schools but will now do a six-year programme instead of five years,” she explained.
During the extra one year, students are edified on mathematics, grammar, comprehension, composition, spelling, reading, vocabulary, phonics, science, social studies, art and craft, physical education and poetry.
Further, Pearce said that at the beginning of each Transition Class, a pre-test is administered in mathematics and language to assess the students’ ability. She noted that the scores are recorded and at the end of the year, the said examination is administered to the students for a comparison to be made.
She highlighted that upon completion of this one-year class, the students are placed in Grade Seven where they are taught seven subjects: mathematics, language, science, social studies, reading and two enrichment subjects.
Regarding this current batch of students, Pearce indicated that following their performance during the Christmas and Easter terms, 2018-2019, some students were still not able to achieve above 50 per cent. As such, the camp is to give those students another chance to improve themselves so that they can be placed into Grade Seven, come September.