The Barbados Youth Development Council has outlined a number concerns with the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination.
While extending “congratulations to all students who recently received their results from the exam”, and also noting it was nit in favour of its abolition, the BYDC called for a more effective way of testing students.
“We are certainly pleased to see that younger generations are performing so well, and for this we say a job well done,”it said in a statement.
“This particular examination is used as a tool through which the Ministry of Education determines the best place for that particular individual to continue his/her education.
“Indeed, an examination cannot fully assess one’s level of intelligence or competence as some have already articulated and as such this particular examination has been at the helm of much national debate. However, we the council do see a need for students to be placed in the best institution that will accommodate their pace, competencies and interests.
“To this end, while we are not in favour of the abolishment of this examination, we would however suggest that the tested subject areas be increased so as to bridge the gap between primary and secondary education. However, at this point we commend the examination for its successes and are pleased to see that students are excelling beyond the examination.”
The statement added: “However, we are saddened by the continuing reality that students are overly pushed and forced into “excelling” to reach a “top school” rather than allowing that student to develop at his/her own pace.
“Not only does this place undue pressure on that individual but can also result in the development of low self esteem and a perpetuating cycle which may follow. It is imperative that parents know and understand that the 11-plus examination is not the end of a student’s life, but merely the beginning.
“The real test occurs when that student reaches CXC and CAPE level which is mandatory for the acquisition of any form of employment. To this end, we would like to take this time to remind all of you that one’s school does not determine where one ends up in life. It is up to the individual to decide what amount of work, dedication and persistence he/she will put in to achieve his/her goals.
“Our national anthem discusses the reality that we are all “craftsmen of our fate” and that is philosophy that we need to instil into the minds of our younger population. Therefore we ask that you celebrate the successes of these future leaders and encourage them to do their best, whatever their best is, wherever they go in September.”