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Curepe Pres excels at SEA

By SEETA PERSAD Thursday, April 24 2008

click on pic to zoom in
Principal of Curepe Presbyterian school Samuel Bejai....
Principal of Curepe Presbyterian school Samuel Bejai....

SAMUEL BEJAI, principal of Curepe Presbyterian School, is always busy preparing for a major event at the school. He is constantly looking for ways to improve the physical and social structure of this institution.

“I believe there is potential in each child in this school and it is not about teaching but reaching the students and making them better academically,” he said.

According to Bejai, while anyone can teach a topic on the syllabus, the real challenge is in reaching the students and getting them to learn what is being taught. This is something that Bejai and his staff have been doing successfully since the school has been enjoying an impressive success rate in the SEA in recent years. Last year, out of the 104 pupils of the school who sat the SEA exams, the child scoring the lowest made 75 percent. The school scores the first, second and eighth places nationally in the exam.

Bejai, who has been at the school for the past 35 years, said the school’s success is due in large part to the support of a strong Parent Teacher Association.

At present staff and the PTA are busy setting up a computer room at the school. When completed, the facility will have space for 50 computers.

Through fund-raisers, the school has collected thousands of dollars for major renovations and modernization drives over the years. There is a newly renovated cafeteria, as well as a resource lounge.

The expansion of the library to accommodate thousands of educational and recreational books is one of the major works being done to improve standards at the school.

Located on Lyndon Street, Curepe, the school which was built to accommodate 540 students now has an enrolment of 780.

“I believe that schools should serve the community in every sense of the word. This means taking in so many pupils and doing everything to develop them into successful human beings then we should do this,” said Bejai.

“While I am lucky to be working with an efficient and well-rounded staff, I still come across instances where I needed to apply as much patience and understanding as possible in dealing with unpleasantries that may pop up,” he admits.

“Each child is different. And we must make it our responsibility to make that child happy. When a child is contented then he can learn things. He can take in the education. When a child is put on the spot he can rebel. or he can put up a block and it defeats the whole purpose of teaching him.

In addition to its academic successes, Curepe Presbyterian placed second in the National Under Ten Swimming Competition and second in the Carifta Games in Swimming in 2006. The school also placed second in a Cyber Space Project of the Caribbean in 2002.

The school is now preparing for their Walk-A-Thon in the Curepe area The theme will be ‘Give Peace a Chance’.

Bejai said his ultimate goal is the construction of a modern school building to provide proper accommodation to all the pupils. Plans have already been drawn up and approved, he said, and it is now up to the Presbyterian Board and the Education Ministry to come to an agreement and proceed with construction of a new Curepe Presbyterian School.

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