The Department of Education is hosting its first ever Transition Camp to help below average performers at the 2018 National Grade Six Assessment to better integrate into secondary schools.
The Transition Camp will last for five days and the main objective is to prepare the students for Grade Seven or Form 1 of secondary schools in September.
The students, who did not pass their National Grade Six Assessment in 2018, would have already completed a year of classes at a number of secondary schools in Georgetown; this is known as the Transition Programme.
This Programme is in an effort to prepare them for secondary education when the new school term begins in September and has been in existence for some nine years but this is the first time that the Ministry of Education is hosting a ‘Camp’ under the theme, ‘Learning through Fun’.
It is being hosted at the New Campbellville Secondary school.
District Education Officer for Secondary, Sherwyn Blackman said the students’ social ability will be tested and they will also be introduced to basic etiquette training.
“We thought it best to ensure that all our students can successfully transition to the Grade 7 class in a few weeks, not just those who are able to work, we would like to know that all our students who are so tasked with going to Grade 7 can actually have the kind of transition which will suggest to us only an upward movement as they go through the next five years,” Blackman said.
The students will also be exposed to mathematics, reading, comprehension, arts and craft, physical education, dance, music and environmental health.
“We want to ensure that the week you’re spending here is going to be an exciting one, even as you learn,” the District Education Officer said.
One of the transition teachers for the camp, Acklima Pearce spoke about the transition programme.
“In September 2010, the six years Transition Class was established in Ten Regions in Guyana. These students who were not able to gain the marks for the five-year programme were now given the opportunity to attend the same secondary schools but will now do the six-year programme,” Pearce said.
The subjects taught in the one-year transition class are Mathematics, grammar, composition, comprehension, spelling, reading, vocabulary, phonics, science social studies, art and craft and poetry.
For the one-year transition classes, a pretest is done in Mathematics and English Language at the beginning and completion of the programme to evaluate the performance of students.
Their score is then sent to the Department of Education where a decision will be made to further cater to the students.
For the year 2018/2019, there were a total of 323 students in Transition Classes at seven secondary schools in Georgetown.
“For us we believe that the programme has been generating good results, that even though the students would have started with what we call a below average marks, many of the students who would have come through the programme were able to write the CSEC examinations six years later and they were just as successful as those in the mainstream schools,” the District Education Officer said.
Meanwhile, at the end of the five-day camp, the 110 students will be given a certificate and a backpack.
And on the final day, a luncheon will be held to honour their achievements and the students will also present what they learnt through dance, music or dramatic poetry.