Primary school students in the St Michael North West constituency who will sit the Common Entrance Examination next Tuesday, were yesterday advised to do their best but not stress about the test or “get frustrated over school placement”.
The words of encouragement to pupils of St Stephen’s Primary, Deacon’s Primary and Eagle Hall Primary came from MP for the area and Minister of Finance Chris Snicker when he made his customary visit to deliver a pep talk ahead of the exam.
He sought to calm students’ nerves by assuring them that they only needed to “relax and apply their training”.
“You students are exceedingly well prepared for it and we now have as many school places as we have students. So we know that regardless of what happens, every child in Barbados has a place in school – whether that be a public school or a private school, every child has a place. There are not many places in the world that can boast of that,” he said.
Sinckler, a former student of the Garrison Secondary School (now Graydon Sealy Secondary School), told the students that gone are the days of schools being ranked top and lower tier, and stressed that their success depended on the work they put in and not the reputation or tradition of the school they attended.
“The exams are set by CXC [the Caribbean Examinations Council] and it is the same exam for everybody . . . . As I always say, it does not matter where you go, it matters what you do when you get there. We know that you will do well but we are not [pressuring] you. You need to just let the training come through,” he said.
Sinckler also spared a thought for the parents who are sometimes more nervous than their charges. He urged the youngsters to show them appreciation.
“I want you to go home and tell your guardians ‘thank you very much for supporting me’. I want you to do that before the exam or after the exam, because without them and your teachers, none of this would be possible.”