Private schools dominated the top positions in this year’s Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (BSSEE) written by 3,527 students from 68 public and 26 private primary schools.
Minister of Education Ronald Jones announced the results this morning at a press conference at his Ministry where it was revealed that the female students outshone the boys.
The top student is Zachary Andrew Gill of St Gabriel’s who scored 100 in Mathematics, 98 in English and an A in Composition with a total of 251.71 points. He will attend Queen’s College.
The top female student is Adia Jovanna Deane of St Angela’s. She scored 97 in Mathematics, 97 in English and A in Composition with a total of 249.24 and is set to attend Harrison College.
Jones said the results this year compared well with those from last year, with a slight improvement in English and a decline in Mathematics.
There was an overall national average of 67.92 per cent in English this year, as compared to 67.11 per cent in 2015. However, the Mathematics average dropped from 50.47 per cent last year to 48.3 per cent this year.
Jones stressed there was room for improvement in both papers, suggesting that educators had to maintain the interest of both students and parents in order for the results to get better.
“We have to keep the interest of the students high. There are several distractions now and as a result of those distractions, you might have a few who don’t spend time that they should on their work,” he stated, while giving the assurance that the ministry would continue to address concerns about both papers and work to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
Of particular concern was the Mathematics paper, which Jones described as “reasonable” but with a few issues that needed simplification.
“From our perspective, we believe that it was a reasonable paper and that there were maybe one or two things in language that could have been simpler, but it is a Mathematics Paper. This paper is set by some of the leading Mathematics brains in Barbados.”
Barbados TODAY visited the top students at their respective schools where they were overwhelmed, overjoyed, and overcome with excitement at their outstanding performances.
Gill did quite well to control his excitement long enough to speak with Barbados TODAY. He said he was pleased that his hard work and extra lessons under the guidance of his teachers paid off.
“I do like Maths more than English . . . because it is more logic, and there is either yes or no,” the well-spoken Gill explained.
Over at St Angela’s it was difficult for Deane to contain her exhilaration when she received the good news. The national swimmer said she was shocked, but attributed her performance to the time spent correcting mistakes.
“I have to keep working hard. My mom always says that once you get into secondary school, the journey now begins,” Deane told reporters who fired questions at her.
Zachary, who got a perfect score in Mathematics, was joined by Talha Zakariya Mohamed of Al-Falah and Khalil Damanni Vanderpool-Nurse, a Charles F Broome student, who also received perfect scores in Maths.
The top three performers in English were Charles Alyssa Hyacinth of St Angela’s who scored 99, her classmate Rebekah Giselle Bethell who received a total of 98, and Sarah Sheeneze Downes of Hillaby Turner’s Hall Primary, who scored 98 per cent.
At today’s news conference Jones announced that the performance of the early sitters was also worthy of commendation. He revealed that of the 13 students who requested permission to write the examination early this year, 11 were approved and they all passed and were placed in various secondary schools.