Students at East Mucurapo Secondary School relax in the corridor during a break session.

Mucurapo East Secondary principal Derrick Phillip said 17 from 154  candidates received five CSEC subjects in 2018.

Speaking with the Express during a tour of the school by officials from the Ministry of Education on Wednesday, Phillip said despite structural damage to the Home Economic Block after the earthquake struck on August 21,  he was committed to ensuring classes continued since several students live in East Port of Spain and environs.

School reopened on September 10. 

Buoyed by CSEC results, Phillip said: “It is a special time for the school. It is one of our best years with CSEC. Given the nature of the school, we wanted to continue in that trend for 2019. We had 17 pupils getting five CSEC passes. We went up 154. We got students getting four and three passes.”

Phillip added: “One of my troublesome students went from zero to a distinction in Mathematics. Staff have been working really hard. We have students passing Add Mathematics and Physics. Add Mathematics is difficult. I want to thank the staff for their efforts.”  


Being out of school is more detrimental

Phillip said he was committed to improving the lives of these young citizens who live on Nelson and Piccadilly Streets. He also said it was necessary to deter them from gang warfare and negative activities.

On the importance of school, Phillip said: “I feel being out of school will be more detrimental. Diego Martin is also acting up in some areas. Some of our children come from these hardcore depressed areas. It will only benefit them if they are in school, and, they are in a safe place. Staying home becomes a habit. We know what is happening in some of the communities.”

Phillip said the children also need to boost their confidence and self esteem.

He said: “They are smart. But they come to us with issue like self confidence and self esteem. They have to be taught how to get ready for exams. We let them know they can write exams. When they catch on there is nothing to stop them. They make us proud.” 

Mucurapo East Secondary also boasts a Cadet group, sporting facility catering to sports like football, cricket, basketball, netball,  steelpan (Starlift) and taekwondo.

Among those present were Education Minister Anthony Garcia, special advisor Cheryl Ann Wilkinson, Chief Education Officer (CEO) Harrilal Seecharan and Permanent Secretary Lenore Baptiste-Simmons.