NATION

St Thomas High School excels academically

Pass rate lifted from 40-50% to 89% and growth Saint Thomas High School in Lautoka, sadly, some years ago, was not the ideal school parents who wanted their children to
24 Jan 2018 11:00
St Thomas High School excels academically
Brother Francis (in purple shirt) with (from left) Sharmila Sen (teacher), Linda Tavu (student), Kilioni Kailutu (teacher), Ashesni Mistry (teacher) and Salanieta Vuluma (student

Pass rate lifted from 40-50% to 89% and growth

Saint Thomas High School in Lautoka, sadly, some years ago, was not the ideal school parents who wanted their children to attend.

The academic results were not as high and there were some students who had given the school a bad name.

The school’s grades were nothing to write home about.

Hovering around the 40-50 per cent pass rate, which parents would want their child to attend school there? Unless of course you are a Catholic and the family had always attended Catholic schools.

An example of the turnaround came in the results from 2012, where the school recorded a 56 per cent pass rate for Year 12 and 45 per cent pass rate for Year 13.

The latest school results for external exams showed an 80 per cent pass in Year 12 and 89 per cent in Year 13.

Last year, the school also recorded 100 per cent pass in Home Economics, Agriculture, Computer, Geography and History for Year 13.

The school, which is owned by the Roman Catholic Church in Fiji also produced some good students who later excelled in different careers.

Today, St Thomas is a different school, and that could be attributed to the principal, Brother Francis Abraham, his team of dedicated staff and the change in attitude that has being instilled in the students.

Brother Francis is a disciple of the Monfort Brothers of St Gabriel and comes from Kerala in India.

The society took over the running of the school in 2013 and immediately set out to improve the pass rate for external exams.

It took a few hard years, but the perseverance of its staff led by the Monfort Brothers final began to reap the benefits.

Brother Francis, who holds a BSc in Mathematics, did not want to take the credit saying the teachers had been a big part of the change.

“The teachers have certainly stepped up and this was reflected in the students changing their attitude towards school work,” he said.

Incentives and motivating students are a big part of the school’s strives to make Saint Thomas High School one of the best in the West.

 

The teachers have certainly stepped up and this was reflected in the students changing their attitude towards school work.

Brother Francis Abraham, Saint Thomas High School principal

School’s background

The school is 42 years old and has come through some tough times to get where it is today.

The school began on a humble footing when it opened its doors for the first students for forms one, two and three in 1975.

It did not have a building so the old wooden double story at St Thomas Primary School was used where four teachers began with 178 students.

On January 22, 1977, the completion of the first building beside the Saru Back Road in Natabua saw classes start.

A nun of the Marist Sisters Order, the late Sister Regina Casey of Ireland was the first principal of the school and held the post from 1975 – 1978.

In January 2013, through consultation with the school’s Board Members and the late Archbishop Petero Mataca, who was the head of the Catholic Church in Fiji and the Catholic Education of Fiji, St Thomas High School was handed over to the Montfort Brothers.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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