Ministry of Education, Guyana

Tuesday, 03 September 2019 09:52

Sophia Night School students doing well at CSEC Exam

Some 30 students of the Sophia Night School are to date on record to write the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination at the May/June 2020 sitting, according to Programme Coordinator, Orin Nelson.

The school, which is managed by the Sophia Community Development Association (SOCDA), whose Programme Director and Founder is Brussels-based Leroy Adolphus, a former journalist, has recorded 100 per cent passes in all subject areas, with the exception of Social Studies where an 89 per cent pass rate was attained and Mathematics and English, which are reflective of the showing of the entire country.

According to Nelson, since we live in a time when many young people leave school prematurely, and run a high risk of being unemployed and socially marginalised, the introduction of a positive option like the night school is an excellent initiative.

Speaking at the Orientation Session of the school, at which Minister of Social Cohesion, George Norton, was in attendance, Nelson proudly announced that the recently-released results of the May 2019 CSEC examination, showed that 26 students received good grades, having written Mathematics, English `A’ , Social Studies, Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business, Office Administration, Integrated Science and Human and Social Biology.
The school, which has a “Come as you are policy”, has since it opened its doors in 2016, registered over 450 individuals, the youngest aged 14 years and the oldest being 50-years old, as it continues to achieve its purpose which is to provide a second chance to at-risk youths, school dropouts and individuals who did not have a chance to achieve a Grade Three or above, in five or more subjects CSEC examination, as well as, individuals who never had the chance to write CSEC examination in the first place.

The student population comprises not only students who are residents of Sophia but also individuals from other parts of Georgetown, as well as the East Coast Of Demerara, East Bank Demerara, the West Coast of Demerara and the West Bank of Demerara.
Nelson said that when the school started in 2016, only five subjects were offered: Mathematics, English `A’, Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business, and Office Administration. Subsequently, an additional five subjects: Social Studies’ EDPM, Human and Social Biology, Integrated Science and Agriculture Science, were added.

He disclosed that the last academic semester was not an easy road, as the additional subjects placed a strain on School’s budgetary allocations. However, so as not to drop any of the subjects, the school’s executive took a decision to merge Years One and Two of Office Administration, Business and Accounts and reduce the contact hours.
The merger affected subjects like Mathematics, English `A’ and the Sciences, as Nelson noted; ideally those subjects could have had an additional three hours.

He said, though, for the new school year, efforts will be made to ensure that teaching hours do not exceed 100 hours per month. Notwithstanding the challenges the school faces, it has been delivering, he added.

SOCDA is a community-based non-governmental organisation that provides programmes and activities, aimed at promoting youth empowerment and education as vehicles or mechanisms to reduce the prevalence of crime and violence in the surrounding Sophia environment.

To this end it seeks to educate, empower and develop innovative leaders to managers with the skills, the competences and the predisposition to contribute to the nation’s development.

It has been in existence for more than a decade and was initially intended to serve as a forum where individuals, organisations and stakeholders meet and have exchanges regarding community development. In 2015, the organisation was officially registered as an NGO-Trust.

Sydney Nelson, SOCDA Treasurer and Project Manager, in his remarks, said the orientation exercise was testimony that the association “is putting action to our words”, adding that once they decrease or even eradicate the social and community development ills that the Sophia community faces, the association would be closer to achieving its mission at the local level, which will then translate to the national level and then globally.

Sophia, he noted, has been plagued with many developmental challenges in the past which still continue today, as he alluded to some headlines that appeared in the media of occurrences in Sophia. Said Nelson: “the association cares about this and is of the belief that it is its job, as well as other community organisations, to ensure that they advocate the government and other stakeholders to invest in Sophia and its development.
He said that, although SOCDA is a young organisation, it is improving lives and by managing the night school, SOCDA has started to promote education and youth empowerment and has interventions to respond to increasing crime and violence in the community.

“With additional funding, SOCDA intends to broaden its community intervention to now include environment and advocacy. Ideally, we would like to be added to the Minister of Social Cohesion annual budget under the line item contribution to local organisations. This will enable us to better serve and improve our interventions,” he remarked.
SOCDA is located at the Cumming’s Park Community Centre which is in “E” Field, Sophia.
Minister Norton in congratulating SOCDA on its achievement, and the fact that it is offering close to a dozen subjects, urged the school to include a foreign subject, be it Spanish, French or Portuguese.

He reminded the gathering that CSEC is the basic qualification required for almost every job and is essential for pursuit in academic advancement.
According to Minister Norton, the Government is cognizant of the fact that persons from less wealthy families are at a disadvantage when it comes to many things in life, including education.

As a result, President Granger has worked assiduously to establish the programmes which provide buses, bicycles, boats, breakfast, books and now bookbags to children in need, adding “Nothing must hinder the education of our nation.”

Alluding to the request made earlier for the Night School or SOCDA be granted a subvent6ion, Minister Norton assured that he will at his upcoming budget presentation to the Minister of Finance, make mention of the request.
Photo saved in Graphics as Night school gathering

The gathering at the Sophia Night School Orientation Session hosted the Sophia Community Development Association (SOCDA)


Read 318 times Last modified on Wednesday, 04 September 2019 10:41
You are here: Home Media External Sources Sophia Night School students doing well at CSEC Exam