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Scholarships ‘not only marker for success’

Carlos Atwell

Scholarships ‘not only marker for success’

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PRINCIPAL of Harrison College, Winston Crichlow, thinks too much emphasis is being placed on scholarships to the detriment of other CAPE students.
In a telephone interview on Monday, Crichlow said schools should not be judged on how many scholarship winners they produced but rather on the number of students who passed the exam overall.
“It is not right to assess a school’s performance on the basis of scholarships. Every year schools do exams [at various levels], so when you are judging a school’s performance in any given year you have to look at all the dimensions and compare them to previous years,” he said.
Crichlow, while not discounting the achievements of the winners this year as he said gaining a scholarship or exhibition was a remarkable achievement, added that there were other achievers who were being overshadowed.
 “Scholarship winners [in particular] are a special group who are extremely capable to reach that high standard.
It is not an easy accomplishment so I often have to take my hat off to them as well as the teachers who guided them and the parents who supported them.
“[However] a student who attains a Grade 2 or 3 in CAPE also deserves high praise. When we put scholarship winners on a pedestal, we make the others feel like they have done nothing.
“There are many who don’t get a scholarship who deserve accolades and who are very successful at the next level.
“It is not about pitting one school against another as a school’s duty is to produce citizens with good values, respect and discipline, so I congratulate all students who have taken the exam,” he said.
Harrison College produced half of the 34 scholarship and exhibition winners this year, with seven students achieving scholarships and ten students achieving exhibitions.
Despite this, Crichlow said, while he was satisfied with the school’s performance, he thought they could have done better in light of having achieved eight scholarships and 13 exhibitions last year.
“I judge this school on how we perform in comparison to previous years not against other schools. Each school should be seeking to improve their performance every year,” he said.
In addition, he said the criticism of The Lodge School and Combermere was unjustifiable as both schools recorded high success with the level of the students they accepted into sixth form.