─ increased attendance recorded in Region Three

The West Demerara Secondary School and the Belle West Primary School have retained their top positions with student attendance for the academic year 2017-2018. Both schools had topped their levels for the 2016-2017 years. Topping the nursery level for the year 2017-2018 was Bagotville Nursery School.

These schools among others were honoured today at the Department of Education, Region Three’s Annual Attendance Awards Ceremony held at the West Demerara Secondary School.

According to the Senior Schools Welfare Officer for the region, Azharuddin Zahaur, the main concern for the Welfare Department is to ensure that learners are in school.

He said that there are approximately 20,000 learners in the region. He explained that every month a list is sent to the department containing names of students that have achieved less than 75 per cent attendance.news 20181003 6

According to Zahaur, there are 1,500 learners that have not achieved 75 per cent. He noted, however, that the Welfare Department will continue to work with schools, students and parents to ensure students attend schools regularly and punctually.

He said that the department usually visits schools and conduct truancy campaigns to educate children about the benefits of being in school. Zahaur said that last year the Department of Education honoured 600 students that achieved 95 per cent and above in attendance.news 20181003 5

However, he added that this year, the numbers have increased whereby 1,000 students have achieved 95 per cent and above in attendance.

Moreover, the Regional Education Officer (REdO), Annesta Douglas said that the awards ceremony was designed to be a part of the activities for Education Month. She said that it is important to recognise the efforts of parents, guardians and children that have made exceptional attendance records.

She said, “every school day counts in a child’s academic life. A missed school day is a lost opportunity for many things”.news 20181003 7

Further, she said that when children stay away from school, that reduces the impact of even the best teacher’s ability to provide learning opportunities.

Delivering the feature address was Assistant Chief Education Officer (ACEO) Primary, Owen Pollard. news 20181003 4He said that the goal of the Education Ministry is to ensure that every child is given the opportunity to receive the best possible education.

He said that high attendance benefits the child as it contributes to improved academic performance. He added that children also benefit from improved social skills as learners are given a better chance to interact with peers and teachers.

Regional Information Officer, Ganesh Mahipaul expressed sentiments on behalf of the Region Executive Officer, Dennis Jaikaran. He said that outstanding performances usually come from students that attend school regularly. He urged parents to send students to school and to support the education system so that it can grow from strength to strength.

Some of the other schools that were honoured today were Meten-Meer-Zorg Nursery School, Anna Catherina Nursery School, New Annlegt Nursery School, Bagotville Primary School, Saraswat Primary School, Mc Gillivray Primary School, and Zeeburg Secondary School.