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Hopewell principal to face hearing July 22

Tuesday, July 08, 2014    

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THE Ministry of Education said the hearing into allegations of financial management breaches against Principal of Hopewell High School in Hanover Joyce Irving has been set for July 22.

The ministry said despite its efforts, the school board and the Jamaica Teachers' Association, representing the principal, had difficulty scheduling suitable meeting dates.

The ministry, responding to a report published in the July 6 edition of the Sunday Observer, also denied reports of daily sexual acts by students on properties close to the institution.

In a statement, issued yesterday, the education ministry said its regional office has found no evidence that 21 girls have dropped out due to pregnancy and no report of sexual activities has been logged.

"Contrary to the picture painted by the Sunday Observer report, over the last six months, Hopewell High has been settled with visitors commenting on the change seen in this regard," the ministry said.

All students, according to the ministry, have been entered for an exit examination — Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate or National Vocational Qualification Levels 1 and 11. The regional office, it said, has assisted with the development of an action plan to address discipline, teaching and learning, as well as staffing.

On the matter of security, the ministry said a section of the perimeter fence was stolen on two occasions, the most recent being about a month ago.

"Since then the school has acquired three quotations for replacement. Furthermore, the interim principal has reported that there has been a significant decline in the number of students leaving the compound, as it is constantly patrolled by officers from the School Resource Unit and by staff members," the ministry said.

As for the matter of inadequate staffing, the ministry said a senior education officer recently met with the board chairman and the senior management team at the school to address the issue for the new academic year.

The school's current enrolment is 940, with 117 Grade Six Achievement Test students placed for the new school year which begins in September.

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