Glenmuir High School has been heralded as the highest value added traditional/high school on the island, based on a recent survey conducted by the Jamaica Education Transformation Commission.
On Thursday, the Jamaica Education Transformation Commission released the report The Reform of Education in Jamaica 2021, at the request of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, outlining a re-evaluation and ranking of Jamaica’s secondary schools.
The Reform of Education in Jamaica 2021 report now serves as a comprehensive assessment, giving the government a blueprint for the future, and will help shape Jamaica’s destiny as the country approaches its 60th year of independence.
Wolmer’s High School for Girls was placed second and St Jago High School was third.
The top three performing non-traditional high schools are: Dinthill Technical High School ranked first, Denbigh High School second, and Edwin Allen High School third.
The schools are selected based on various rankings, such as the average Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exam and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) results; value-added rankings in CSEC and CAPE; rankings based on average results; average CSEC percentage in certificates and average CAPE diplomas.
According to Professor Orlando Patterson, chair of the Jamaica Education Transformation Commission, the group evaluated schools individually and used a composite metric that combines exam results with a value-added assessment.
“We’ve made a ranking of schools, which we’re very surprised with… and we want to use that system, which I think is much fairer and shows where to look for the real problems in the school, and not just by just looking at exam results,” Patterson said during the report’s virtual launch on Thursday.
‘Ecstatic, humble and grateful’
dr. Marsha Smalling, principal of Glenmuir High School, is “ecstatic, humbled and grateful” that the 63-year-old institution she leads in Clarendon parish was placed first based on the survey.
“I have been saying this for a long time that Glenmuir is unapologetically number one and I have drawn the conclusions not because I am a former student but because we have consistently done well academically and in the co-curricular activities. We have won the daCosta Cup four times; Ben Francis [and] Oliver Shields. We do korfball, quiz, spelling, table tennis [and] chess, so we’re well-rounded,” Smalling told the gleaner.
She added: “When we look at our students doing sports, for example passing an average of seven CSEC subjects, I knew we were doing something special.”
Smalling said this recognition has inspired staff to continue to serve outstandingly in downtown Clarendon.
“It came at the right time. We’ve been through this pandemic. The staff would have worked so hard, and this would have been the best incentive for them right now,” she said.
On the ranking debate, Smalling says, “For what it’s worth, we’re celebrating our moment and just enjoying it.”
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