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New Barrouallie Secondary School opens its doors at Peter’s Hope

New Barrouallie Secondary School opens its doors at Peter’s Hope


As students poured out of school buses and passenger vans, the early morning sun glinted off the fresh hairstyles, new shoes, book bags, and – most importantly – the new building that they would call ‘home’ – the new Barroullie Secondary School now located at Peter’s Hope.{{more}}

The new compound saw students curiously inspecting classrooms and toilets on Monday, September 7, the first day of the 2009/10 academic term. They seemed to be more enthralled by the structure than at being reunited with their peers!

Although they didn’t have much to say, students were visibly excited by their new surroundings. One student commented: “The school is really big. A lot more space than before!” Another student chimed in that the abundance of stairs would help the overweight students to lose weight.

At its old location adjacent to the Barrouallie Technical Institute, the secondary school suffered from several issues – the biggest being severe overcrowding. Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT, Principal Dora James recalled that some classes eventually had to be conducted in rooms at the neighbouring technical institute.

Added to that, the school did not have a science laboratory, library or computing facilities. At an estimated cost of $8.2 million, the new school now boasts 2 science laboratories, a fully functional library and computer lab equipped with new desktop computers.

“It gives us that opportunity to introduce single sciences now,” James related. She explained that previously, the school was only able to teach Integrated Science. However, there is now scope to teach the sciences as individual subjects.

James is hoping that this fresh start will impact positively on the school’s CXC Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) success rate. This year, the school gained a pass rate of 66 per cent. “I’m hoping that the children’s attitude to education will change… I am thinking that the fresh environment will create that impetus for learning.”

As students gathered for general assembly, one could almost smell the baby powder that liberally dusted many chests and necks. Although their faces beamed with glee, they stood as still as the coconut trees in the background, as their principal issued a stern warning of the school’s “no nonsense”

policy regarding punctuality and behaviour. Her address, however, was cut short by a sudden rain shower, which was perhaps a blessing to usher in the new term.

A smattering of parents also lingered around to make sure that their children (new first formers) settled in. One parent in particular approved of the new school. “It’s excellent! Well done to the government… the school is really pleasant.”

Principal James told SEARCHLIGHT that she and her staff will be actively encouraging students to respect and care for their new facilities. She is also appealing to parents to reinforce this mentality at home. “They must have some pride in their environment.”

She continued: “I hope all the stakeholders will be able to maximize their use of the facilities. But at the end of the day, the benefits will be for the students.”

The only apparent blip on the radar is that a landline telephone has not yet been connected, and the area suffers from poor cell phone reception. James joked that this might be to teachers’ advantage because it would discourage students from bringing their cell phones to school. “I’m sure if I searched their pockets I would find hundreds!”