For the past ten years, Baldwin Lonsdale Memorial School (BLMS) has been without science and commerce options to cater for its students.
BLMS Deputy principal and basic science teacher, Anmarie Royoyoven, said the only science related education the students receive is the junior level basic science curriculum, otherwise subjects as chemistry, biology and physics are not available.
“It’s a bit sad for most of us who enjoy science and those who are interested in commerce, because as we further our education here, we are forced to do arts instead, simply because neither science nor commerce courses are available,” a student shared.
There are a lot of students who excel in basic science, but as soon as they reach the junior level, those who are lucky to have been placed to another school with better science facilities proceed on with their education, if they have money to cater for the travel expenses.
Otherwise there are some cases where students gave up on education or force themselves to take up arts courses at BLMS.
“We once had a junior science lab, as I recall when I was a student here, but when I returned back to the island it was all gone. The building is still there, but all the equipment went missing,” Royoyoven said.
There have been many concerns raised. Petitions have been made during the Minister of Education’s recent trip to the island, visiting the former President’s memorial site, late Father Baldwin Lonsdale.
Among the petitions was a request to build a Senior Science lab, but unfortunately to this date, no response to these petitions has been received.
According to Royoyoven, there was a team from the New Zealand High Commission that went down a few weeks ago to do an awareness and have asked school staff to disclose important matters regarding the school.
“It is really shameful to have another country help develop our own,” Royoyoven expressed.
“It is really hard. We only have basic science for the junior cycle, starting from Years 7 to 10, none for the Years 11 to 13. It is really sad to see students wanting to continue with science but have no choice except to move out of the island. For some, even if they are doing well in science, they would end up having no choice but be forced to change their subjects and enter the arts stream.”