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Commission announced to review High School Diploma

EDUCATION Minister Glenys Hanna Martin.

EDUCATION Minister Glenys Hanna Martin.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

EDUCATION officials announced yesterday the formation of a commission that will review the Bahamas High School Diploma.

Education Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin said the commission will look into the objectives and purpose of the diploma, studying its core criteria and analysing the impacts of these criteria in total or singularly and to determine whether the objects and purpose are in fact being achieved.

She said: “Further, if deemed necessary and/or appropriate the commission will submit its considered recommendations and/or observations to the ministry for reform or appropriate adjustment. This is not an exercise to comprise standards - we’re not interested in that. In fact, it is the absolute opposite.

“The underlying purpose of this commission is to ensure that the prevailing criteria maintains relevancy and are an accurate reflection of student attainment in light of progressive trends and evolving strategies in education and in consideration of educational research and policy to ensure that our high school diploma reflects true attainment of the students and sets appropriate standards and best practices.

“The objective is to create the framework and establish to the foundation for our children to aspire for higher performance and to meet the objectively recognized standards.”

Cecil Thompson, the commission’s chairman, said he is “committed” and “resolved” to this review.

He said: “I pledge to do my best in this exercise. I have every confidence that the members of this high rated national commission be of tremendous asset. In a very personal way, I am very vested in this review because I’m a proud grandfather of six grandchildren – three of which are enrolled in schools here in The Bahamas and so the decisions, after considering recommendations, will have far reaching impact throughout the country.”

Mrs Hanna-Martin also noted a concern about the issue of a student receiving an F grade being excluded although making progress.

“I have heard the voices of educators, parents, students and those in the public at large,” she said. “And there are many observations which the commission will no doubt consider, but I single out one which I have no doubt will be placed before the commission’s consideration,” she said.

“This is the concern - and I quote from the concern - if a student attains more than one F grade, he or she is unable to recover, therefore is excluded as a diploma candidate. The concern is that if a child receives two Fs at grade 10, but shows consistent improvement in the remaining years he or she is still ineligible for a diploma.

“No matter what the GPA is at the end of the three years, even if the student never obtains a grade below a C for the remaining years. I am submitting this is an issue that should come to the consideration of the commission.”

Pressed on other areas of concerns, she was careful not to contravene the commission’s work, but mentioned a few situations.

“… If you’re below a certain level of punctuality, then there’s issues of if your parents do not participate in the teacher conference – that’s an issue. We want to encourage parents, but a student may not have any control over a parent if the parent doesn’t show up and the student suffers,” she said.

Bahamas Union of Teacher (BUT) president Belinda Wilson said that the union had been writing to education officials with their concerns.

“Well today is the establishment of the commission. I’m pleased that the minister has appointed a commission because approximately 12 years ago when the Bahamas National High School Diploma started, I was a part of that committee. And for the past 10 years the Bahamas Union of Teachers we’ve been writing to education officials,” she told reporters.

“We’ve been advocating for changes, and especially in the point the minister would have spoken about when students get an F and they’re unable to recover that F to be eligible for a diploma. That is definitely a sore point and it has negatively impacted our graduates. So, I am pleased to be a part of this commission.”

Asked about the timeline of the commission’s work, the minister replied that the body should not be constrained, but encouraged to carry out a concise and comprehensive review so that when the next cohort of graduates is ready the needed changes have been implemented.

Comments

sheeprunner12 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Why do we need a Commission for this? Another delay tactic to frustrate more Bahamian families? I'm sure the private schools don't waste their time with this diploma.

There is only one problem with the MOE diploma.

Just get rid of the credits criteria and it will be fine. A D grade should not force a student to recover credits. A D grade is good enough to pass BJC and get GPA. Why is it not good enough for a credit? There is NO justifiable reason that the MOE can give for this anomaly.

An F grade is an F. It already affects your GPA. Why create a double jeopardy and make the F cause a student not get a worthless credit? Or make a teacher violate their professional ethics by erasing the F by giving an easy make up test???? Get rid of the credits criteria. Period.

There is NO need for any 242 high school credits. They serve NO purpose or value. We don't need to copy that American crap. UB doesn't accept 242 HS credits.

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tribanon 6 months ago

You're wasting your breath. Glenys has no shame and will always be nothing but a loud-mouthed brat. Most who know her well will tell you she is deceitfully wicked and about as dense as they come. And of course these are traits valued by our roly-poly and cruel Davis who obviously thinks absolutely nothing of our children and grandchildren.

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