With its primary schools firmly established as the top in the country with its pupils dominating most of the top spots in the Foundation Based Education (FBE) Exit Examinations over the years, and its high school producing exemplary results, the Methodist Agogic Center (MAC) is set to continue moulding its students for academic excellence in the new academic year.
“I credit our success to the strong foundation that was laid by our founders. They had a vision for this institution. Every detail was worked out and tested and retested and revised to ensure that we were offering the best product to the community of St. Maarten,” Executive Director of Methodist Agogic Centre Rose Hughes-Coram says when asked to what MAC credits its impressive success rates.
“We have maintained that foundation, but over the years, we have enhanced it with the national curriculum that was implemented by the Ministry of Education. We did not wipe away what he had; we incorporated the new to make it even better. We have maintained our structure of Wednesdays belonging to the MAC; staff meetings, planning sessions and workshops. We have also maintained our termly assessments across the board,” she explained.
Hughes-Coram said each year MAC conducts its own internal evaluation of its FBE results and makes the necessary adjustments for improvement. “Our curriculum and structure are enhanced by the dedication and hard work of all our teachers, care team members and management of our schools. We encourage our parents to get on board with us. We meet regularly with our parents to keep them informed of their child/children’s progress or the lack thereof. We offer assistance and solutions. We cater to every aspect of the child’s development: spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional and physical,” she explained.
The school also maintains its motto of “Back to Basics” for all locations.
“Based on our end of year evaluations, we will be maintaining our focus on mathematics; mechanics and problem solving, language arts and Dutch. We have seen improvements over the years in Dutch. That again is attributed to the creative out of the box thinking of our Dutch teachers,” Hughes-Coram pointed out.
In terms of readiness for the start of the quickly approaching new academic year, Hughes-Coram said MAC has the majority of its staffers in place.
“We are finalising placement of high school staff and still needed is a teacher for the Early Stimulation section of our school. With regard to the buildings, at the BFM [Browlia F. Millard] location, repair work is in its final stages. JAG [Rev. John A. Gumbs] campus will be undergoing some classroom adjustments for the upcoming school-year to accommodate the repairs that are scheduled to take place by NRPB [National Recovery Programme Bureau],” she said.
The estimated population at MAC’s elementary levels is about 800 students, and 230 students at its Comprehensive Secondary Education (CSE) level.
“My expectations for the upcoming school year are for this to be our best year ever as we continue to celebrate our successes, and plan to reach even higher heights as we chart our course to success. My advice to parents is to be involved in their child’s school life as they are their children’s first teachers. Come to the school, meet your child’s teachers, be an active parent. Join the parent teachers association in order to plan activities to bring our parents, teachers and students together. That old African adage still stands today, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ We cannot do it alone. We must work together,” she said.
“To our students, they must take responsibility for their learning. We have very high standards for our staff and students. We continue to strive for excellence. As this school year quickly approaches, I encourage all educators to take time for yourselves. Get some rest, enjoy the last days before the school year starts again. Self-care is extremely important. We cannot pour from an empty cup,” Hughes-Coram noted. “Let’s all make this the best year ever.”