Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Innovation, Senator Harry Husbands touring the??Providence Elementary and Secondary Schools today. (C. Henry/BGIS)

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Innovation, Senator Harry Husbands today toured the environs of Providence Elementary and Secondary Schools, at Francia House, St. George.??

A former teacher, himself, Senator Husbands noted that although he had been "out of the [education] system for quite a while", he considered it necessary to visit several schools to familiarise himself with "what was going on" in the area of education.

Noting that monitoring private schools was part of his responsibility, he indicated that more tours of this nature would be undertaken during this term and into the new school year -2013-2014- at private as well as public schools.

Acknowledging that Providence was on the right track, the Parliamentary Secretary said: "I’ve noticed a very serious emphasis on reading… and the Principal and staff are employing some pretty creative ideas in reading and in the educational system generally."

While stating that public primary schools were also employing creative means to teach reading and improve reading scores, he added: "I wish that there could be more dialogue between the private sector and the Government sector in order to improve educational standards."

The Parliamentary Secretary and his team of officials from the Ministry were taken on the tour by Principal, Tom Sheedy and Director of the Board of Trustees, Greg Hook.

Mr. Sheedy noted that the school was into its eighth year.?? He said Providence Secondary comprised three forms – 1, 2 and 3 – and by next year it should see the phasing in of form 4 with the intent of going to Lower and upper sixth so students could be prepared for [Caribbean Examination Council] CXC certificates. He added that a new principal was expected at the secondary school in September.

The elementary school, which currently has a roll of 256, comprises students between ages of three and 11 years old. This year, 35 students took the 11-Plus, with last year being their most successful.

Noting that neither school will see a turnover of teachers, Mr. Sheedy said he had a "tremendous" teaching staff and was very confident in their abilities.?? "The staff that we have here is committed. They work vigilantly together and I am very excited about the prospects for the secondary school."

According to Mr. Sheedy, the mix of students at both the elementary and secondary schools is approximately 73 per cent locals with the remainder being expatriates.


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