Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler today acknowledged that this island’s teachers are both underpaid and overworked, while praising them for their contribution to Barbados’ education system.
“Regardless of whatever they may say about our education system, it is the best in the world,” declared Sinckler.
“Our teachers are just second to none. It is true that they are underpaid and overworked, [but] hopefully someday we will solve that problem,” he added.
The senior Government official was at the time delivering a series of pep talks to Class 4 students sitting tomorrow’s 11-Plus examination.
He told the students at St Stephen’s, Deacons and Eagle Hall primary schools that from a teaching and preparation perspective, he was convinced that they were ready to take the test.
“Even in spite of large classrooms, even in spite of all the stress of getting here and dealing with their lives and families, they [teachers] still get here and give you the best instruction you could ever have,” he said.
A total of 3,510 primary school students are scheduled to write this year’s secondary school entrance examination.
Sinckler cautioned them that in addition to going into the exam room with the right tools and mindset, they also needed to be prepared for the results.
And while parents generally wanted the best for their children, the Minister of Finance said they needed to be cognizant of their overall approach to the 11-plus exam.
“You are really doing this exam, but your parents are more nervous than you are,” Sinckler told the students.
“But you are going to calm those nerves because you are going to get up tomorrow very calm, with the guidance and the strength and with all the love from the Almighty God,” said Sinckler, who will hold his annual fun day for the Class 4 students at the Casa Grande hotel in St Philip next Friday.