Education officials recently announced a plan to add an extra year to public high school graduation requirements.


The change, which is part of a proposed amendment to the Education Act, is to take effect next school year for students in third form or younger.

But despite the fact that government has urged private schools to follow suit, at least one of them has declined to do so.

St. George’s Secondary School will not add a year to its curriculum for many reasons, Gerard Farara, chairman of the school’s board of directors, said on Friday during a briefing with reporters in his Main Street law firm.

“We as a board received a letter from the acting chief education officer on the 14th of April informing us officially of the two decisions taken by the ministry,” Mr. Farara said. The letter advised the school of the ministry’s decision to implement an additional school year and to replace the term “forms” with “grades,” according to the chairman.

“The letter went on to note, which is of importance to St. George’s School, that they appreciate that the implementation of an additional year will result in additional cost,” Mr. Farara said. “For example, costs relating to hiring additional teachers, costs relating to perhaps additional classrooms, and also for the training of teachers.”

The letter stated that the ministry was in the “process of looking into a professional development programme” to assist with teacher training, according to the chairman.

However, he added, “We have not as of now heard anything about that.”

After considering government’s recommendations, the board decided that the additional school year was not compulsory for St. George’s, Mr. Farara explained.


See the June 6, 2014 edition for full coverage.