Friday 21 September, 2018

Alma Parris reopening if BLP wins election

The school is not set reopen its doors come September

The school is not set reopen its doors come September

Mia Mottley, Leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party has promised that if her party wins the next election they will work to reopen the doors of the Alma Parris Secondary School and introduce more special schools.

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Moments ago when addressing the closure of the Alma Parris School, Mottley made this declaration on a radio programme this morning, Sunday, July 9. The Speightstown-located institution will not be hosting classes when the new academic year commences in September 2017.

She declared:

“A Barbados Labour Party government would have to not only reintroduce Alma Parris, but also ensure that the other two alternative secondary schools are provided for, so that these children receive the full opportunity to become the best that they can be, because we really must understand that on island of 270 000, each one must manner in this country!”

She explained that the current administration failed to implement the original plan of building out two more schools with the original mandate of the Alma Parris School, which was to cater to students with special needs and those scoring low on the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (BSSEE), commonly known as the Common Entrance Exam.

Mottley said:

“When we formed the Alma Parris School it was always understood that there would be two more alternative secondary schools to meet the needs such that all children scoring under 30 percent could have that dedicated tuition, but also support for their development; that it wasn’t only what their academic outcome was or their technical and vocational outcomes were, but also the social and emotional development of the individual child.”

Acknowledging that the students of the Alma Parris School will be transferred to the St. George Secondary School, the Grantley Adams Memorial Secondary School and the Daryll Jordan Secondary School, Mottley said that the large class sizes and huge student rolls are not the way.

“This country cannot accommodate schools with 800 and 1 000 students and we are fooling ourselves.”

She said that because of the committed teachers and the integrated approach delivered to students at the Alma Parris School, the society has not been hearing of problem children arising from that school "over the past 22 years".

Rather than dismissing the Alma Parris School, she declared that this government should have been announcing how they would open another school for slow learners in the future. She said that the BLP had eyed the old St. Giles school complex as one option for a central location and were looking for a location on the South for the third institution.