CAPE now offered at West Demerara secondary school
Fresh off the heels of CAPE being launched in Region Two at the Anna Regina Secondary school last Friday, Region Three is now offering the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations to their students for the first time via the West Demerara Secondary school.
Eleven students from the West Demerara School are currently enrolled in the CAPE programme and two students intend to gain the coveted associate degree which will shave two years off of their time at some universities.
Calling the West Demerara Secondary School the best in the region, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand underlined the power of investment, citing the example of a student from Wakenaam Secondary gaining 11 grade ones at the recent Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC).
Touching on other planned projects in the region such as new secondary schools to complement the 14 in the region, dorms at the Leonora Secondary to house 65 students, teaching quarters at Wakenaam and Leguan and nursery schools in communities like Parfait Harmonie; the Minister said that education impacts generations and she believes that bringing CAPE closer to home gives opportunities to more students, rejecting the criticism that she was “spreading herself thin”.
The importance of CAPE being offered in Region Three was highlighted by the story of Odilie Munroe from Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini), who moved to live with her grandmother in Region Three to pursue her dreams of becoming an environmental officer. She chose this field because she wants to solve the pollution problems in Guyana, especially in Mabaruma. Odilie shared how this new programme has impacted her.
“My mother is from Region One and my grandmother took me to help me further my studies and she lives here and I wouldn’t want to go to do CAPE in town because it’s too far and it would be difficult for me.”
Another student, Tiann Connelly, who is working towards becoming an Obstetrician, said that although she had planned to attend sixth form in Georgetown, the challenges at the Demerara Harbour Bridge and the hassle of travelling, coupled with a new environment would have impacted her studies. So, when she heard that CAPE was coming to West Demerara Secondary she “jumped at the opportunity.”
Teachers of the West Demerara School expressed pleasure at being pioneers for CAPE in the region. They welcomed the opportunity not only for their student’s growth but theirs as well.
While stating that CAPE is a personal choice Renalda Johnson – a teacher – advised that after CSEC, the more extensive exam acts as a buffer and transition to studying at university. This isn’t only in the level of work, but also preparing students to work more independently.
Headmaster of West Demerara Secondary School, Mr Harrinarine said that West Demerara, through their consistent CSEC results, has climbed the ladder to now offer CAPE, an honour which he doesn’t take lightly. Mr Harrinarine said that he expects more from his teachers and students and hopes that more students from the region will take advantage of the programme.