Presentation College, San Fernando

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For other schools of the same name, see Presentation College (disambiguation).
Presentation College

Presentation College is a selective, government-assisted Roman Catholic secondary school located in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. It claims to be the first Catholic secondary school in South Trinidad, having been established circa 1930 in the basement of San Fernando Presbytery. It relocated to the Colony Buildings at La Pique in 1931. Originally, the College was named Saint Benedict's College. However, the name was changed in 1948 when management of the school was assumed by the Presentation Brothers.[1]

Present day[edit]

Based on the academic achievements of its graduates and overall success of its alumni, Presentation College, San Fernando is considered by many to be the premier secondary school in Trinidad and Tobago.[2] Every year, several students are awarded National Scholarships, which are essentially highly selective merit-based grants earned by students who have attained the highest grades in the Advanced Level Examinations taken by students upon the completion of a seven year secondary education curriculum. The top scholarship in Trinidad & Tobago, known as the 'President's Medal', has been won on several occasions by Presentation College, San Fernando students, most recently by Kerry Shastri Singh in 2011.

Typically, students matriculate at age eleven and pursue the curriculum through either the age of sixteen or eighteen. It is important to note that unlike other Caribbean islands, Trinidad and Tobago have a rigorous exam for students to get from primary education to high school education. Primary school student are given five choices of secondary schools and depending on their results in the exam, they will either be accepted to the country's top secondary schools or lower tiered schools. Presentation College maintains a high academic standard; the college receives the first five percentile of male students in the island and graduates are awarded a great number of scholarships.[citation needed]

Facilities[edit]

Presentation College, San Fernando houses a number of facilities that fit the secondary education curriculum. These include Science Laboratories, an Information Technology Lab, a Lecture Room, a Technical Drawing Lab, a Library, Music Rooms and an Art Room. To meet the growing demands and needs of our students, all classrooms were equipped with a multimedia projector, in order for staff members to explore new and innovative teaching strategies . Additional facilities include a football field, cricket pitch, tennis court, squash court and basketball court. The swimming pool is leased by the school and can be accessed by the public.

Sports[edit]

Presentation College, San Fernando has a talented football team, and has produced several players who would later represent Trinidad and Tobago Football at national level (senior or junior age group), as well as collegiate and professional teams throughout the United States and Europe. Notable players include Avery John, who played at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[citation needed] In November 2007, members of the college's squad had the honour of meeting Cafu, the former Brazilian captain and then AC Milan player, during the RBTT InterCol South Zone Secondary Schools final at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium.[3]

Cricket is also popular in the college; Oscar Durity, Trinidad and Tobago opening batsman of the early 1970s, attended the school.[citation needed]

Organisation[edit]

In academic structure the College is organised into three blocks. In the lower school, students range in age from eleven to fourteen. In middle school, students range in age from fifteen to sixteen. In upper school, students range in age from seventeen to nineteen.

The college is also organised along intramural lines. Upon entry to the college, students are assigned to one of several houses, and remain in their assigned house though their tenure at the school. The house system serves as an organisational basis for intra-college sporting competition as well as for participation in other aspects of college life. The system was introduced during the years of Brother Livinus Kelly's principalship. The houses are St. Andrew (yellow), St. Augustine (light blue), St. Barnabas (red), St. Bede (green), St. Gregory (dark blue and gold), and St. Winifred (maroon/purple).

The prefect system provides a supplemental basis for the administration of the college. Prefects exist in two forms. The first variety, college prefects, come exclusively from the upper school or senior rank of students. They enforce adherence to the college's code of conduct systemwide and are accountable to the principal. The other variety of prefects are referred to as class prefects. Class prefects monitor conduct within their particular form or classroom and are accountable to the form master or mistress.

Principals[edit]

The current principal of Presentation College, San Fernando is Mr. Dexter Mitchell. The former principal, Mr. Jaikaransingh, replaced Brother Michael Samuel as principal, who had taken over from Brother Matthew Feheney in 1975. Brother Michael retired as principal at the age of 65, and later renounced his clerical vows.

Prior to Brother Michael and Brother Matthew, several other Presentation Brothers held the position of Principal, with Brother Jerome Kelly (1957–69) being perhaps the best known.[4]

Former principals listed chronologically:

  • Bro. Livinus Kelly (1948–52)
  • Bro. Liam Dromey (1952–53)
  • Bro. Bartholomew Browne (1953–56)
  • Bro. Macartan Sheehy (1956–57)
  • Bro. Jerome Kelly (1957–69)
  • Bro. Anselm O'Callaghan (1969–71)
  • Bro. Matthew Feheney (1971–75)
  • Bro. Michael Samuel (1975–2002)
  • Mr. Errol Jaikaransingh (2002–2013)
  • Mr. Dexter Mitchell (2013-present)

Admission policy[edit]

Admission to college is determined by performance on an examination, known as the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA). The SEA comprises three papers that must be attempted by all candidates; creative writing, mathematics and language arts. The precursor to the SEA was the Common Entrance Examination (CEE), which mirrored the SEA in several significant respects.

Presentation College tends to be an institution of first or second choice of the four prospective institutions each examinee is required to list in preferential order of interest prior to the exam.[citation needed] The four preferences are drawn from the totality of secondary institutions nationwide.

Curriculum[edit]

Students of the college pursue a course of instruction leading to external examination under the authority of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). After five years at the college (and in selected instances, four years), students sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certification (CSEC) examination in various fields of study.

The CXC was established in 1972 by agreement of regional governments seeking an effective and functional model through which to provide and assess a secondary education curriculum. As a body, the council has an operative relationship with the University of the West Indies and the governments of fifteen participating territories aside from that of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

The CSEC examinations are the accepted and internationally recognised equivalent of the GCE or General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level examinations they replaced. For decades, examinees at Pres took GCEs set by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, now known as University of Cambridge International Examinations. However, a preceding generation of students took a version of Cambridge examination known as the Cambridge School Certificate, a precursor of contemporary GCE O-levels.

Students at the college first sat CXC exams (CSEC) in 1979. At that time, the subjects available for examination under CXC existed in limited number. The first group of examinees submitted to examination in the areas of English, mathematics and geography, while also taking Cambridge GCEs in these three subjects and other subjects. Gradually, the range of subjects offered by the Caribbean Examinations Council expanded until CSEC exams came to replace the traditional Cambridge GCE exams completely.

In everyday parlance, CSEC examinations are commonly referred to as CXCs because from 1979 to 1998 they constituted the only form of examination offered by the Caribbean Examinations Council. However, the Council later developed the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) examinations to replace the British Advanced level exams. CAPE examinations are taken by students who have completed their standard secondary education (the CSEC) and who seek to continue their studies, beyond the minimum age for completion of compulsory education. Students who wish to sit for the CAPE usually possess CSEC or an equivalent certification.

Presentation Hymn[edit]

O Lady of Presentation
For us we bid thee pray
That college days may be of worth
While we our time abide on earth
And trials faced each day.

As students of Presentation
We pledge to ever be
Brave soldiers in the bitter strife
For self-assertion in this life
And men of dignity.

It matters little where we roam
In the years that lie ahead
The knowledge which we here acquire
Shall help our nation to aspire
For we are men sincere.

Majestic on its verdant hill
Our school o'er looks the sea
It stands a monument to those
Who all their lives to serve it chose
That it for e'er may be.

Composed by Larry Hodge.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]