A date for the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination (BSSEE) will be known within the next two weeks.
The assurance has been given by Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw who promised that anxious students and parents will not have to wait much longer to know when the BSSEE, better known as the 11-plus examination, will take place.
The BSSEE is usually held in May but was pushed back due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Don’t worry about the 11-plus because I know many people worry about the 11-Plus. I told the country we were going to do the assessments on the children and the assessments are underway and I give the assurance that within the next two weeks or sooner we will have a position as far as the 11-plus date is concerned. That is our commitment to you,” Bradshaw revealed while speaking Sunday at the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) three-year anniversary virtual conference.
But even as she made that promise, Bradshaw spoke of other alternatives to the controversial BSSEE.
She maintained that there was a need for the establishment of specialized schools in Barbados where the skills of children could be honed at a young age.
Bradshaw said Government had already ordered robotic kits and was in the process of training teachers on how to do coding.
“We’ve spent over $2.6 million committed to the robotics and coding programme so that every child across this country has the opportunity to be able to do something with their hands, to be able to be creators and producers and not just consumers anymore.
“When they talk about reform we coming with the reforms. We have the Education Reform Unit set up because it is about time. It is not just going to deal with the abolition of the 11-plus but it is also to deal with the big issues of the transition from the 11-plus to middle schools and to ensure that we have specialist schools in this country, because we want children who want to go into certain areas, specialist areas, to be able to start to think about those things not at the tertiary level, not when they leave school and they feel as though they don’t have any opportunities or anything to do. We want them to be able to do it from the time they are in secondary school to stimulate that thought in them that they can be anything they want to be,” Bradshaw said. ([email protected])