Only 46% leave high school with a diploma


Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education.


Tribune Staff Reporter


ONLY 46 percent of students who leave high school qualify for a diploma, Education Minister Jeff Lloyd revealed yesterday during his budget contribution in the House of Assembly.

Noting the country’s commitment to achieving an 85 percent graduate rate by 2030, Mr Lloyd regretted the current percentage, saying the “standards are as low as we can make them”.

With 70 percent of school leavers entering the workforce, Mr Lloyd underscored the importance of students meeting the requirements for graduation and the need for more parental oversight in this matter.

He also addressed the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) statistics, noting that out of 6,720 candidates, only 76 received ‘A’ grades in five or more subjects. Seventeen scored an ‘A’ in eight or more subjects.

He said 80 percent of the grades awarded ranged from ‘A-E’, with the highest percentage of grades awarded being a ‘C’.

“I speak now, Mr Speaker, of an area which is causing a little bit of consternation in our Bahamian society, it’s called the Bahamas high school diploma,” Mr Lloyd said.

“Since 2017, the criteria for graduation has been standardised across this country. And we want it to be standardised so that we can ensure that there are quality graduates that enter society. This country is committed that by 2030, 85 percent of those leaving the 12th grade will meet the minimum graduation standard.

“By 2030, in approximately 10 years, Mr Speaker, the commitment of this country, in concert with the Organisation of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank and so on, is that we make it to 85 percent.

“Today, Mr Speaker, only 46 percent of our 12th graders leaving high school graduate—46 percent, less than half.”

Mr Lloyd noted there are eight criteria which must be met to graduate. These include passing four Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) examinations - receiving a minimum grade of a ‘D’ in math, English, health or general science and social studies or religion.

Other criteria include a specific number of credits, annual parent-teacher conferences, and a certain grade point average.

“The data shows, Mr Speaker, that these four BJC’s is the most challenging. A lot of students are not meeting it. And the second most challenging is the number of credits that they need.

“Now let’s be straight up, Mr Speaker. Our students must graduate from high school. You need to have a high school diploma. Not a certificate of attendance. We don’t need a ‘BTS’ certificate: ‘been to school’. You need a diploma.”

Mr Lloyd also said there is a trend of many parents waiting until their student is in the 12th grade to “petition” the ministry for “some concessions (to) what we consider the minimum standard”.

“Students begin in grade 8 to prepare for their BJCs. My God, grade 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 – five years to pass four subjects. BJCs. And what do BJCs test, Mr Speaker? The minimum standards.

“And why is this important? Every year, thousands of our students leave high school. Five, six thousand or thereabouts. What we now know statistically is that 70 percent of them go into the world of work. Thirty percent go onto tertiary education, approximately.

“What is it that an employer expects when he or she receives a graduate? That they will be able to function, make meaningful contributions in this very fast developing global society. As far as we are concerned, the standards as low as we can make them.

“Parents must become involved. They must work with their children, and not wait for the last minute to deal with this.”

Regarding BGCSEs, Mr Lloyd said the objective is that 80 percent of students should receive grades between ‘A-G’. “Well, we did have 76 candidates who received grade ‘A’ in five or more subjects. 76, out of the 6,000. And 17 out of the 76 scored ‘A’ in eight or more subjects.”

“The Bahamas is not the world,” Mr Lloyd added. “We cannot educate citizens only for this parochial setting. They must be equipped to engage competitively, robustly, prosperously, profitably, and successfully, the universe around them. It doesn’t get any more basic than that.”


TalRussell 4 years, 5 months ago

And, comrade education minister just confirms that few learns anything after so many years enrollment in government's schools, yes, no- and the other 54% either don't go on earn paycheques, or the couple who do are mostly paid at minimum wage pay scale wage levels....... maybe students lawyers can offer defense that it's government's bad teaching fault that we are not in financial position repay student loans, yes, no


truetruebahamian 4 years, 5 months ago

Sad thing, the Haitian man who works with me for a fair wage but lower than any school leaver would accept, he is multi lingual, literate, a man of thought and supporting a family. He believes in the sanctity of marriage and has never bothered with stepping outside those vows to produce unwanted outside children, he feels that is wrong but has empathy for the unwanted progeny and works to assist them to give their lives worth and value to themselves. Let's take this a step further. He teaches Bahamian kids how to read and write in English. How to construct thought and face the world with open eyes and show pride in achievement - not slop around with gangs and stupid people. If he can come here and achieve this, why can't others - Bahamians - remove themselves from the selfish blanket under which they hide to do something constructive for their OWN country.


quietone 4 years, 5 months ago

Well Truebahamian, seems that the Haitian who works for you is an angel! I have retired over 20 years ago, and during my working years and after retiring, I have met some men who really seemed to have been angels or someone our Father in heaven sent to warn/encourage me!

I honestly believe that over the years, most of these problems we are suffering from could have been corrected if they had been dealt with long ago. But our leaders seem to take forever to try and deal with the issues burdening us. When I was a teenager there were NO gangs!!! If a single person stood up waiting on the side of one of the main streets, in less than a minute a police would rush beside him and shout, "MOVE ON, NO LOITERING!!!"


bogart 4 years, 5 months ago

FOLLOWING THE COLONIAL PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM.........After repeatedly attempts of the the Minister has failed to better the education system of da nation highly publivized should offer his resignation.


TheMadHatter 4 years, 5 months ago

Kids today are smarter than you think. They know better than to waste time studying for a diploma they will present somewhere, only to be told "no jobs available." In the Bahamas, fat dumb and happy rules the day.


BMW 4 years, 5 months ago

What a great job the parents and teachers of our country do. LOL. I give them all a fail. Teachers pay should be tied to how well they produce in the class room, not this entitlement attitude of " I been here fa so long dat I should get pay good"


joeblow 4 years, 5 months ago

Within two years 90% will have a child, 40% will have a job at a fast food restaurant and 100% will be complaining about what the government should be doing for them!


sheeprunner12 4 years, 5 months ago

Pindling is somewhere grinning right now. His 1967 Animal Farm experiment worked like a dream ......... For 25 years, he presided over his dumbed down fiefdom:

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING .................... he closed down the Old GHS .............. made all the new "secondary schools" clones of each other.......... encouraged all Bahamians to get an "office job" .................got rid of the competent white ex-pats in favour of black ex-pats........... closed down the SS Teachers' College ............. lowered the testing standards of BJC............... got rid of GCE O'Levels ............ created the seven-point pass scale for a bogus national exam (BGCSE) ............ encouraged social promotion from Grade 1 to 12 ............. invested very little in BTVI ................. Chose PEPs to run the schools & MOE ............... Kept COB on Government stipends ............. Funded private schools for his "friends, families & lovers" ............... Refused to seriously revamp the school year or curriculum ................. kept teachers pay scales one notch above the school secretaries .............. and NO PM or Minister of Education since Pindling has had the guts to fundamentally reform the educational system.


bogart 4 years, 5 months ago

...ya definitely knows !!!!!!!.......And the Teachers Union , agent for change of decades of betterment.......is the continuous push... priority....Agenda...on da eradication of mold in da school buildings walls....


Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 5 months ago

Spot on bro....no one could have said it better!

Without the dumbing down policies first put in place by Poodling and later refined and perfected by Ingraham, Christie and now Minnis, none of the current MPs sitting in the HOA would have ever been elected. Only dumbed down voters ever vote for corrupt greedy buffoons!


Schemer18 4 years, 5 months ago

This man giving Bahamian children a bad impression, from since he became the minister of education. He keeps complaining about situations surrounding the students, but all students are not book smart.

What happen to the vocational classes for students who are not test worthy?

So create programs that the ones failing can have a trade, upon leaving school.

Stop putting things like this in the public domain, & to correct your errors.


joeblow 4 years, 5 months ago

We are not talking about astrophysics here! Reading, writing, arithmetic and the ability to understand is basic and required in ALL fields of training. The ability to do two out of the four is sorely lacking in many young people I come into contact with!


sealice 4 years, 5 months ago

And all the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of our teachers union(s) and the Gubmint them for being the largest group of Apathetic Bahamians of all.... really if this was pre Bahamas 1970 whatever people would just assume racism was involved because the treatment of one group by the other is so bad that it appears intentional...... less articles more doing people please


bogart 4 years, 5 months ago

HIGHEST NATIONAL FAILURE...!!!!!!!!......largest use of taxpayers money engineering national failure on many fronts....Condemning youths to failure....Condemning national growth of the nation.....Codemning lessening GNP.......Condemning nation to increased crime...Poverty..lawlessness... misery....hopelessness...babies cryin ...lack of employmenr lack of education levels...Condemning nation failing in comparison to other nations......goes on an on....the repeated failure of the educating of nation's children....ESSENTIALLY...building house wid .......failing poor foundation....muchless repair those whatever exists forefathers/mothers built.....


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