The most important goal of secondary education is to prepare students for their future, whether it is for higher education or for the world of work. It is a reality that not all high school graduates can proceed to tertiary education, some would have to forgo college and enter the world of work.
Secondary education should be able to provide the right amount of training and education that would help the graduate become successful in his/her chosen life path (Hamilton & Hamilton, 1994).
Secondary education does not also limit itself to providing academic and skills training but also in developing the personality of the student and by teaching life skills which they will use in their daily lives. In doing so, students are no only equipped academically with skills and knowledge but also become responsible young adults. Education’s ultimate goal is to teach and transform the minds of the young in the hope that they will become productive citizens of the country.
With the many issues and controversies that the educational sectors are facing, it is no wonder that more and more schools are trying to address the issues of providing quality education that would result to student success in and out of school (Myrick, 2002).
For some, innovation and the use of technology had helped in motivating students and in enhancing instruction, others focus more on providing excellent support for the needs of students that would aid in decision making in terms of their future and life goals.
This support programs include career guidance, counseling, social action, volunteerism and spiritual guidance. Other schools emphasize academic preparation and excellence by providing programs such as remedial classes, enrichment classes, advanced courses in science and math, tutorials and the like (Cobia &
Henderson, 2007). As most educators agree, a school which provides holistic education and personal development are the best kind of schools whether it is public or private, and rural or urban.
In recent years, the general public had been averse to sending their children to public schools owing to the negative reputation that it has been given for not providing quality education, for not having excellent teachers and for the lack of funding given to such schools. More and more parents had sent their children to private schools for secondary education, in an attempt to reverse the negative perception towards public schools especially in the inner cities; the Sydney Secondary College was created in 2002 in order to revitalize public education.
The Sydney Secondary College system is composed of three campuses located at Balmain, Leichhardt, and Blackwattle Bay. Students attend either Balmain or Leichhardt for their grade 7 to 10 education then move to Blackwattle Bay for their 11th and 12th years.
Although Blackwattle Bay accepts applicants from different schools, students from Balmain and Leichhardt are given priority. The college system is unique in the sense that the learning environment of the Blackwattle Bay campus is very similar to a true college or university wherein students take courses that are geared towards enhancing the students’ chances of being accepted in tertiary education.
Moreover, the college concept also posits that juniors and seniors would benefit more from a more mature and challenging learning environment than a regular high school.