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Former principal: Cambridge curriculum should be dropped

Mary Lodge, former principal of St George’s Preparatory School (File photograph)

The Cambridge curriculum should be scrapped under government’s education reform plans, the former principal of St George’s Preparatory School has said.

Mary Lodge said that the relatively low Cambridge Primary Checkpoint results in English, Maths and Science in Bermuda’s public schools did not take into consideration socio-economic factors that can affect performance.

She said Bermuda was the only country or school district where every child sat the checkpoint exam.

“They are competing against international schools – the children of diplomats,” she said. “The level of tutoring and other privileges make it easier for them to compete at a higher level.”

She added: “I would recommend that we should not continue with Cambridge curriculum.”

Ms Lodge said it was important to include “more local history and more authentic history” in whatever curriculum was in place.

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, confirmed last month that eight schools will permanently close as part of its education reform reducing the current slate of 18 primary schools to 10.

Ms Lodge said she understood the need to reduce the number of primary schools, including St George’s Prep, which was one of the highest scoring primary schools based on Cambridge Checkpoint assessments, but said it was important that their legacy be celebrated.

“We have to find a way to honour all of the schools,” she said.

“[The late] Dr Joseph Christopher produced a registry of schools – he gathered information from all the principals and from the community. He wrote the complete histories including the opening dates, names of staff, how it was formed etc. There should be an updated version.”

She added: “The emotion is there of course but the reality is we can not afford to keep all of the schools open.

“The schools that they have in the parish have to be accessible.

“I have no problem saying if you have one school per parish, it has to be accessible to all.”

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Published August 02, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated August 01, 2021 at 8:58 pm)

Former principal: Cambridge curriculum should be dropped

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