• JIS News

    Story Highlights

    • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says Jamaica is extremely fortunate to have every child assured of a space in school from the early childhood to secondary level.
    • Rev. Thwaites was speaking at the official launch of the book: ‘The History of Calabar High School: 1912-2012’, authored by alumnus Arnold Bertram.
    • Minister Thawites described the book as “a fascinating story of …social equality through access to quality education”.

    Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says Jamaica is extremely fortunate to have every child assured of a space in school from the early childhood to secondary level.

    “There are many countries of much greater wealth, who cannot boast that,” he stated.

    “In Jamaica, the heritage, which we celebrate …is that of access and the objective is to add equity and quality to that access,” he stated.

    Rev. Thwaites was speaking at the official launch of the book: ‘The History of Calabar High School: 1912-2012’, authored by alumnus Arnold Bertram. The event, held at the Sagicor auditorium in New Kingston, was attended by a throng of Calabar ‘old boys’, Mr. Bertram’s family members, and well-wishers.

    Minister Thawites described the book as “a fascinating story of …social equality through access to quality education”.

    He added that “before Common Entrance or GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test), Calabar began nourishing the hopes of those whose relegation to senior school, would have been taken for granted, and that is a monumental achievement in our nation’s history.”

    Former Prime Minister, and Calabar past student, the Most Hon. PJ Patterson, who is also the Honorary Chairman of the school’s Centenary Committee, shared anecdotes from his years at the distinguished all-male institution located on Red Hills Road.

    Mr. Patterson, who attended Calabar, while it was still a boarding institution, said that boarding schools still have a critical role in the education system.

    This, he said, as education is not just about certification, but is also about building social cohesion, and productive relationships.

    Mr. Patterson stated that “the book confirms that over the past century, Calabar consciously prepared its graduates to fill Jamaica’s developmental needs”.

    He emphasised that students were not only prepared for academic excellence, but also for leadership in every sphere of endeavour, and particularly for the process of nation-building and community engagement. The former Prime Minister described the book as “a brilliant work of scholarship”.

    Calabar High was established by the Jamaica Baptist Union in 1912 for the children of Baptist ministers and the poor blacks and was named after the former slave port of Calabar in Nigeria.

    Today, it is considered one of the finest schools in the country, producing at least five Rhodes Scholars and is respected for its outstanding performance in track and field.