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Space crush

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Space crush

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MINISTER OF EDUCATION Ronald Jones has accepted some of the blame for the lack of space for allocations in Government secondary schools.
And he said Government needed to move ahead with building the replacement for Louis Lynch Secondary. Jones made the observation yesterday during a Press conference to discuss this year’s Common Entrance Examination results.
He was responding to a question about the possibility of transfers, and noted that more than 800 spaces had to be found to accommodate the displaced students.
“That has placed pressure on the schools, so there is no room at the base, neither is there room at the top,” Jones stated, adding that the move to sixth form was presenting some challenges with space as well.
“We’re moving with alacrity to get in place those schools, at least two, in this period to take care of that crush,” he said.
He said another problem lay in the fact that parents did not utilize the full set of choices available to them.
Given the constraints, Jones said, there was no need to “rush” to the Ministry of Education to request transfers today.
Jones said transferring students presented a “significant” difficulty. He said fewer than 40 of the 600 plus applications made last year were accommodated
He said “one or two” spaces might become available if students who had been placed in the public system opted to go to private secondary schools.
“There has never been really any significant room for transfers. We can’t stop them [from making] the requests. Where the requests are made we look at them . . . ,” Jones said.
In his assessment of the results, Jones said there was a reduction of the number of students scoring below 30 in maths and the English scores in the same range were “less problematic”.
He said there was “significant” improvement in the 40 to 90 per cent range and no great disparity between the sexes was found. The mid-range scores in English continued on the upward trend as well, Jones said. (YB)