Clifton Primary a bright light in Hanover

October 03, 2017

After being shunned by many parents, who opted to send their children to urban schools, Clifton Primary School in Hanover is now one of the brightest lights in western Jamaica.

The institution, which is located approximately seven miles from Lucea, in the farming community of Clifton, was deemed one of the parish's dying schools a few years ago as its population dwindled significantly, way lower than its 180-student capacity. The grades were not good, either, but there has been a turnaround at the school.

"In 2015, the population was 65 and there was an average of 45 per cent in literacy and 38 per cent in numeracy," Rayon Pusey, the school's principal, told the WESTERN STAR. He said that in 2016, the population moved up to 92 and the literacy rate rose to 100 per cent and numeracy to 85 per cent.

And things continue to get better.

"This year, the school recorded 100 per cent for literacy and 90 per cent in numeracy," said Pusey, who is naturally quite pleased with the school's change of fortune.

According to Pusey, a combination of innovative teaching techniques and the use of social media, which is being used by classroom teachers like Su-Tanya Allen, has been helping to spark a change of fortune.

"Early work online, interactive activities, extra lessons, real-life problems, YouTube videos, were among the strategies used," Pusey said. "A few parents assisted their children, but most of the work is done at school, as some of the children do not have textbooks and have to copy papers."

Pusey said the school will continue to engage parents and the general Clifton community to get residents more involved in the institution's activities.

"It is a deep rural community, hence the more educated the students are, it will foster the growth and development of their community and students will aim to work towards achieving their dreams," Pusey said.

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