- copped five spots in the Sun-Region’s NGSA top 10 list
By Solomon McGarrell
Howell Wilson Primary, located in Ituni Village, Region10, continues to display consistency with outstanding National Grade Six Assessment Examination (NGSA) results. Pupils who sat the 2021 exams, sent the small logging community into a mode of celebration as the little community would have copped five spots in the the Sub-Region #2, top 10 list.
The teachers and students of Howell Wilson Primary, for yet another year proved to persons in the coastal regions that although they are remotely located with limited resources, they can and will continue to excel with the little being provided.
The school’s Headmistress and also the Grade Six teacher, Yvonne Nazier, told this media house that she’s extremely proud of herself, staff and most importantly the pupils, who would have sat the exams and penned what they would have been taught, in the height of the pandemic and prior.
The school’s top student is Tabitha Fox, who secured 506 marks and a spot at the Bishops’ High School. Other top performers are Laurel George, who scored 495 marks and secured a place at St. Joseph’s High; placing fourth on the sub-region’s list of top students is Ambleleena Grant who scored 483 marks which secured her a place at Mackenzie High School; the fifth place goes to Navindra Jaigopaul who scored 479 marks which secured him a place at Mackenzie High School and Kristine Lim who scored 473 marks which also secured him a place at Mackenzie High.
Besides the school’s lack of resources, the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic has played a major role in curtailing the pupils from achieving their desired marks, as compared to previous years.
Miss Nazier explained that while face to face learning was made available, COVID-19 protocols were observed at its strictest but was hindered to some extent, when the community recorded its first COVID-19 case.
“When there was an active case, we stayed away for 14 days. It took a little more sacrifice; it had time when I think I would be putting myself and my family at risk due to the fact that you don’t know what the parents and children are doing at home,” Ms. Nazier explained.
She also added that she would place her family on the back burner in her efforts to secure outstanding grades for the pupils, even if it comes on the heels of facilitating evening revision classes, a strategy she would used and has proven to work over the years.
Ms. Nazier who is a resident of Ituni, has been a teacher for some 33 years and disclosed that it is only of recent that the school has been gaining recognition for its outstanding performances. “ Howell Wilson Primary does great every year, it is only recently; like four years ago, recognition would have been given, former AFC member of Parliament, Audwin Rutherford, would have been instrumental in highlighting the sub-districts hard work over the recent years,” she disclosed
In 2011, the school recorded a spot at the Bishops’ High while in 2012, a student secured a spot at St. Stanislaus College. Prior to that, many students secured spots at St. Joseph’s High and Mackenzie High over the years, according to Ms. Nazier.
Like any other hinterland communities, the logging community has been having its share of school dropouts over the years, which was heightened during the pandemic. “Not necessarily as a result of social ills but the mere fact that the community exists without a secondary school for so many years, it poses a significant impact on the pockets of parents, who would have to foot the bill of the child/children attending a secondary school outside of their community, most times in Linden, where it is deemed the most suitable in providing their child/children with the highest quality of education, that sits closest to home.”
“I always put this forward to the ministry, the community needs a secondary school. With a secondary school, we will have a much lower school dropout rate. Financial constraints are a major contribution to this, before the pandemic,” she revealed.
She also encouraged parents to continue to encourage their children to pursue success although they did not secure a top school. “ It’s not that others did not do well but they would have not received a top school. I encourage parents to not let their children fall by the wayside.
The Head Mistress is calling on the Ministry of Education to take into consideration the construction of a Teacher’s Hostel in the community as well, since the community only have one house which can only accommodate three teachers. She expressed this as a need since she will be entering retirement in the next five years and would be followed by three other seasoned teachers.
The proud HM expressed gratitude to the Regional Educational Officer (ag) LaShanna Anderson, for working tirelessly to secure an internet hub for the school that was much needed for the school’s additional output of exceptional grades.