The Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination (BSSEE) is not a “big scary monster” but it still requires preparation to conquer. Those were the pearls of wisdom Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler shared with class four students of his St Michael North constituency.
With just over a week to go before students take the exam, which would determine their secondary school placements, Sinckler made his annual visit to the three primary schools in his zone. He first visited Deacons Primary School, then Eagle Hall Primary School. St Stephens Primary School was the last stop on his mission to spread calm to the students about to make the transition.
“We used to call it the screaming test when I was younger like you because we were all scared of the exam. However, when [we] settled down and started, we realised that the work was not foreign. It is work that you would have done consistently [in] your classes. They are not going to ask you anything that you were not prepared for,” Sinckler told the students at Deacons.
He cautioned them not to get caught up in any subtle changes in the wording of questions, adding that as long as they stuck to the basic principles, all was going to be well. Sinckler explained to the children that although they would have worked hard to attain entry into the school of their choice, falling short of their goal was not the end of the world.
“I know you have in mind the school you want to go to and I hope you achieve your desire and objective. However, regardless of which school you go to or what school they assign you based on the mark that you have, I know that you are going to do well,” he said.
Being one of the success stories of a school outside of the category of so-called prestige schools, Sinckler fittingly explained to the students that all schools offered the same opportunity for upward mobility.
“It doesn’t matter where you go really because all of the schools have good teachers and excellent programmes. People may have different styles of teaching but ostensibly it is the same programme that is taught at all secondary schools. Once you apply discipline, you would do well wherever you go. It does not matter which school you go to but it is what you do when you get there,” Sinckler stressed. (BT)