THE SEA students of La Brea excelled in academic performance with the help of TOFCO’s Pilot Project – Preparing All Students for Success (PASS).
A media release said PASS was a joint effort of the company and former MP Nicole Olivierre. The programme was initiated by TOFCO in May 2019 to drive academic excellence in a school district that had a long track record of underperformance in the SEA examinations.
In 2018, faced with a pass rate of just 13 per cent, teachers determined that something needed to be done to help students become more engaged in studies, and to be able to access the necessary support to move beyond a seeming persistent failure into success. The company’s CEO Graham Balchin and social investment co-ordinator Rhonda Farrell, stepped in and enlisted the assistance of Dr Yvonne John, an experienced educator in TT and the US. Along with Olivierre’s support and the Ministry of Education, they pooled teachers from selected schools in La Brea to chart a way forward. This was the genesis of the PASS pilot.
The effectiveness of PASS relied heavily on the commitment and dedication of the teachers and principals. The slogan Education is a vibe; We pumping with Knowledge was utilised as one of the motivating elements for the students, the release said.
The programme was delivered in four phases: Phase one – amazing achievers camp for students who required immediate interventions; phase two comprised six in-house professional development sessions for teachers and principals based on the curriculum established by the Ministry of Education. Phase three addressed in-class supervision and assistance and while phase four focused on online classes.
The schools witnessed a steady increase in performance and enthusiasm from students, the release said. The students way surpassed targets delivering a 95 per cent pass rate by the top student in the examinations.
The SEA results on October 8 indicated that on average across all four schools, a 93 per cent pass rate has been achieved. Vance River also celebrated a high achiever with the top student, Adeola Jack achieving 95 per cent overall. Of a combined total of 175 students sitting the exam only 11 were identified for resits with one referral.
Commenting on the results Vance River principal Ms Forteau said in the release, “TOFCO has been very good to our community and in particular to our children. Without them, we could never have achieved the kind of success we have had this year. We value their partnership and look forward to continued collaboration.”
Balchin said, “The La Brea community is home for us. We have been here for 16 years and we have been not just a source of work in the community, but we have been actively involved in the life and development of the people who live here through education in schools and adult skills training. The children are also part of our community and we share in their pride with this extraordinary achievement and look forward to continued excellence in the 2021 exams.”