On December 20, 2017, eight adult students will graduate from a fifteen month course with the Scholastic Institute. They will be awarded a General Education High School Diploma.
Maisie Long-Cash, Kinsley Alce, Trevor Blanc, Roshad Edgecombe, Tracey Albury, Jodyare Gardiner, Trimone Adderley and Michael Blanc enrolled with the Scholastic Institute in September 2016, their goals: to take and pass a five subjects BGCSE examination and ultimately receive their high school diploma.
The group is only one of many on Abaco who attended the institute since 2010 and graduated. There is no age limit to attend but the students must not have finished high school.
The requirements for graduating follow those of the National High School Diploma: pass the five subjects of the BGCSE, accomplish thirty hours of community service, maintain an average of 80%-90% attendance, and keep a two point or above GPA.
The subjects offered during the course are English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Religion and Health Science. The present group passed the five subjects with nine As and seven Bs and ten Cs overall, doing especially well in Mathematics.
According to Vincent Coakley, the coordinator of the program, the above mentioned people were some of the most determined and successful in the program.
They are presently studying Computer Science and putting the final touch to reports, thus completing the last requirements towards their end of year graduation.
The program was started in Freeport in 2008 by Kendris Hield, who was a Principal for one year at Patrick J Bethel High School (then named Abaco Central High School.) He established the program on Abaco in 2010 with Mr. Coakley, both teaching the classes. Mr. Coakley, a Mathematics Teacher and Senior Master at the school, has been overseeing and coordinating the program since Mr. Hield returned to Grand Bahama.
Mr. Coakley explained that the institute is considered a school and is registered with the Ministry of Education. The diploma awarded to the students at the end of the program is the equivalent of the recently introduced National High School Diploma. Six certified educators teach the classes.
Mr. Coakley said that academic subjects are not the only topics covered in the course; computer training, life skills, job readiness training and entrepreneurship are included in the curriculum. He also added that many of the graduates have been accepted in colleges locally and abroad and are now employed.
A session can accommodate up to thirty students but the average has been about twelve. The graduation rate is approximately between 80 and 90 per cent.
While the 2016 class is preparing for graduation a new group of seven people has registered and classes are in now in session.
Classes are held Tuesday and Wednesday at Patrick Bethel High School from 6pm to 9pm. People interested in taking advantage of the opportunity to better their education may contact Mr. Coakley at 475-0203 for information.