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Principal of Fatima College Fr Gregory Augustine

Students and teachers at Fatima College in Port-of-Spain continue to cope in the face of unprecedented changes to how education is administered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With ongoing reports of students, teachers and parents being overwhelmed, anxious and stressed by online learning and reduced physical interaction, Principal of the Roman Catholic boys’ secondary school, Father Gregory Augustine said frequent examinations paint a different picture which suggests all parties may have found the secret to success.

During an interview on CNC3’s The Morning Brew, Father Gregory said both students and teachers were able to quickly iron out the kinks caused by the pandemic, he said he was especially grateful that no member of the student population was without access to connection devices.

“We had a full term from April to July last term and anyone who was in need of any devices that was sorted out, so I have to say we have had a one hundred per cent online following.”

A series of features by Guardian Media limited entitled “No child left behind”, has shed light on the difficulties and issues students and parents face from not having access to the internet to not having connectivity devices.

Father Gregory acknowledged that while students at Fatima College may not be faced with some of the socio-economic challenges others students endure, they are grateful and make the most of their situation. “There are learning limitations and the social part must not be discounted, but certainly given the present situation, I have to say we are pleased with what we have achieved so far. We aware that students come from well off homes so we know we are at an advantage but this is not to say what others are saying or experiencing is not true.”

Meanwhile, Father Gregory called from more transparency from the Caribbean Examination Council as it pertains to how CAPE and CSEC subjects were graded given the regional dissatisfaction expressed.

“I think this experience is going to teach CXC that they have to be a lot more open to communication, to criticisms and advice from those in the field.”