Education Minister Myron Walwyn has marked Elmore Stoutt High School’s (ESHS) graduation this year as vindication for criticism surrounding his ministry’s so-called ‘rushed’ efforts to reopen schools after the September 2017 hurricanes.
Captioning a photo of the graduates which he posted on social media site Facebook on Friday morning, Walwyn said: “I hope we can all appreciate why the ministry of education moved so swiftly after the hurricanes to get schools opened against the odds and the criticisms.”
Some 124 students graduated ESHS this year, which represents almost 90 percent of students who enrolled in Grade 12 at the educational facility. Only 15 enrollees did not meet graduation requirements.
The students graduated after what can be described as one of the toughest years in the territory’s academic history.
The education minister, therefore, recognised the graduates’ resilience.
“Perseverance is one of the major keys to success. These students persevered and look at where they are today,” said Walwyn who also recognised the efforts of parents and teachers
“You must persevere and push on regardless of the obstacles in your way. No pain. No gain,” he added.
The graduation ceremony took place on Thursday at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College campus in Paraquita Bay.
Out of that cohort of graduates, there were 67 honour roll students. Five of those students received high honours.
Last year’s weather events severely damaged five of the 16 public schools in the territory. This forced the ministry to implement a shift system for a number of those schools; including ESHS. The ministry also set up classrooms in temporary locations and temporary structures such as tents.
When Minister Walwyn was fending off criticisms back in October, he noted that it was possible for students to learn even ‘under a mango tree’, adding that the quality of the instruction was what mattered most.