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Mar 3, 2020

Julian Cho remains without a principal; an inspection reveals a list of deficiencies

An investigation is ongoing at the Julian Cho High School in Punta Gorda where more than two million dollars were awarded in contracts to teachers by the then Principal Simeon Choc. Aside from those financial discrepancies found in an audit, there are other troubling issues. The high school has been operating without a principal for some time. An interim principal was named but his term expired at the end of February and still there are no signs that a competent person will be appointed to head the school that has an enrolment of a thousand plus students. Aside from the principal, there are a number of vacant positions in science, P.E., Agriculture Spanish and Accounting. The results of a follow-up inspection have been obtained by News Five.  It is dated February twenty-sixth and is twenty-four pages in all. The process involved four phases that started in December 2019 and concluded in February 2020. The report acknowledges limitations due to the unavailability of documents in respect of the curriculum and teaching practices. On the financial side, the reporting was not updated. The inspection team, however, found there were strengths in implementation of certain policies, in the removal of barriers to access education, the maintenance of a clean environment and in the teaching of English and Numeracy.

Now, there was slippage in number of areas. A high dropout and repetition rate plagues the institution, students were unable to complete different tasks in the assigned time and there is a level of regression in certain aspects. Planning for development of the school did not improve, decision making was limited to a few, financial reports were not maintained nor shared with the relevant stakeholders and attention had not been given to the clinical supervision of teaching. The report also notes that a coordinated approach to develop and offer programmes to support student learning was not in place. Students’ performance in the Mathematics and English CSEC continued to be unsatisfactory and activities that catered to the interest and talents of the students were not in place.

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