I wish to add my small voice to the issue of the best performing schools doing the rounds in our media. I feel that these lists are not a fair reflection of the realities in our education sector and with all due respect I am convinced that many of the top performing schools are unfairly benefiting from procedures that others can never dream of. For instance you get schools that will insist that only pupils with less than 6 units at Grade 7 can enroll for form one with them. Naturally the likelihood of producing a high pass rate from this cream is almost certain. Compare that with a school that is taking everyone who applies including those who will never pass even if the sun changes direction, and by the way these tend to be the majority in any environment.
These schools will always produce low pass rate because they did not get the right inputs in the first place. The same goes with A Levels. Some schools will only take a minimum of 5 As and of course they will produces these top 100 performances. Spare a thought for the government school which cannot shut away the other not so brilliant students because it is the duty of government to provide opportunities for everyone.
Basically what we are doing is to give some people oranges, others lemons and ask them to all produce orange juice and then we celebrate the juice from those with oranges. I think praise must go to the teachers and schools that get lemons and are still able under these circumstances to produce some kind of juice.
These schools are doing a massive job in allowing an opportunity for all our young people to access education. In any case surely the teacher who stands before a group of 45 form one students with an average of four units at grade 7 is not necessarily a better teacher than one who stands in another classroom with kids who have 18,20 even 36 units. All I am saying is that while we celebrate these so called high flyers lets spare a thought for schools that are doing so much with very little and whose efforts are barely recognized because our society is so competitive it ignores reality.