Lancaster Secondary School East Bank Demerara:
The school has a demographic of farming and fishing communities and high levels of illiteracy amongst parents. Economic priorities mean that often students do not attend school, in order to work with parents.
The staff would like to focus on developing pupils’ vocational skills but a severe lack of resources means that this is impossible.
The Ministry of Education recognizes these issues but cannot fund resources for vocational courses.
Pupils therefore have to work towards academic qualifications, which many are unlikely to achieve. This leads to lack of motivation, poor attendance and success rates.
We first started working with this school in 2016 and provided the woodwork department with power tools and safety equipment. The pupils and staff were very excited and started work immediately.
Unfortunately the woodwork teacher has relocated and a vacancy for this post remains at the school. When the post is filled the Trust will reconsider funding in this vocational area.
It is important to recognise that, as a direct result of the Trust’s input of woodworking resources in 2016, one pupil gained a place at the Guyana Technical Institute to study masonry – a first in the school’s history.