Harrison College or "Kolij" as it is more affectionately known to its students and alumni has been a cornerstone of Barbadian education since its establishment in 1733. Pursuant to the school motto - En Deo Fides - for more than two centuries Barbadians have entrusted the development of their children to this proud institution.
Harrison College was founded by a successful Bridgetown merchant by the name of Thomas Harrison whose goal was to create a free public school for the poor and lesser privileged boys from the parish of St. Michael.
The school continued in this vein until the 1980's, when the school became co-educational. However throughout these times the school has maintained its excellence in academia by reserving entry for students who are the top academic performers in the secondary school placement exam, otherwise known as the 11 plus exam.
Excellence in youth is nurtured and reinforced throughout school, coupled with pride, confidence and a balanced curriculum. The school is synonymous with producing brilliant minds and well rounded individuals resulting in the outstanding results in the annual examinations set by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
Furthermore the school is responsible for the production of at least 65% of all government scholars or exhibition winners since the government introduced these aids to help funding with tertiary education.
In keeping with the traditions of producing well rounded individuals Harrison College is also one of the foremost schools in the island in athletics and artistic activities.
They are a constant force in the annual interschool athletic sports championships being boys and girls champions on numerous occasions as well as champions of volleyball, cricket, football, tennis and basketball as well as all the major sports.
Their levels of excellence have been such that several alumni have gained athletic scholarships and gone on to represent Barbados with distinction at the international level. The most prominent of whom, Obadele Thompson bronze medallist in the 100 metres at the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia.
Champions in chess, participants in national debate, cultural enlightenment through associations like Alliance Francaise and excellence in music are all features that make the Harrison College experience a uniquely diverse and enlightening one.
It is simply the learning institution that can be everything to everyone allowing young minds to grow in a positive environment and find their niche; a proud part in the Kolij tradition of excellence and the privilege to lustily sing in the school hall "For its Harrison, Harrison UP!"
Author: Brett Callaghan