JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has committed to look into addressing the needs of the Denham Town High, including improving the technical and vocational capacities of the institution.
  • He said that the Ministry wants to make an example of the downtown Kingston-based school, as one that is able to transform lives.
  • Some of the needs, as identified by the Principal of the institution, Audrey Williams and her staff include: additional chairs, equipment for vocational subjects, and assistance for the implementation of a breakfast programme.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has committed to look into addressing the needs of the Denham Town High, including improving the technical and vocational capacities of the institution.

He said that the Ministry wants to make an example of the downtown Kingston-based school, as one that is able to transform lives.

“You have difficult circumstances given the students you have and the environment in which they operate but we want to make sure that you are equipped …and show that it is possible to move persons, who come with limitations, into positions of strength,” he said.

The Education Minister was addressing staff during a visit to the school on Thursday (Oct. 8), where he commended them on the various interventions undertaken to assist students in the areas of literacy and numeracy.

The support, which includes increasing the number of contact sessions provided for remedial lessons, has resulted in significant improvement in passes in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Mathematics. The pass rate moved from 13 per cent in 2014 to 73 per cent this year.

Minister Thwaites, in hailing the improvement, said “it makes no sense advancing people from one grade to the next, if they have not achieved the levels needed or the requisite skills.”

He said he is “especially proud’ that the institution has admitted 300 students from the Grade Nine Achievement Test (GNAT), who have particular challenges in literacy and numeracy.

He noted that once the needs of the school are addressed, which he acknowledged, are “quite modest,” then the staff will be in an even better position to address the needs of the students.

“Nobody must leave Denham Town without being able to read and to do basic numeracy,” Rev. Thwaites said.

In addition to the literacy and numeracy interventions, the school also stages motivational workshops for boys and girls, and career and peace day activities.

Some of the needs, as identified by the Principal of the institution, Audrey Williams and her staff include: additional chairs, equipment for vocational subjects, and assistance for the implementation of a breakfast programme.

During the visit, the Minister also toured sections of the school, including the audio visual, building technology and welding rooms.

The school’s population consist of approximately 1, 200 students and 54 teachers.