Education Minister Warns Against Depriving Low Achievers

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Education Minister, Ronald Jones, receiving a token of appreciation on behalf of Charles F. Broome Memorial School from Head Boy, Zion Hill.
(G. Brewster/BGIS)
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Teachers have been warned by Education Minister, Ronald Jones not to deprive children who got below 30 per cent of the marks in this year’s Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (BSSEE/Common Entrance Examination) of the benefits of an education.

The Minister, who is also acting as Prime Minister, was today addressing the graduation ceremony of the Charles F. Broome Memorial School, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. He stressed that it was Government’s goal to have all Barbadians educated.

He said: "Let me make the point that everybody in Barbados must be taught. So if there are any thoughts of anybody in this country not teaching those who might [have] scored 30 or 32 or 34, I will encourage you to find a new occupation. That denial of our children will not be tolerated…. Don’t take the chance of denying our young people the opportunity to soar!"??

While delineating his vision for education on the island, Mr. Jones added, "It is not [about] any child going to any particular school, because part of my vision and part of my view is that every child coming out of our education system, at primary level, unless there are substantial deficits in their learning, all of our children should be scoring 50 and above and I want to reach that stage to 55 and to 60… so that the issue of scores no longer makes a difference to the school that you go to. Reduce it; eliminate it as much as we possibly can.

"That is my personal pursuit, because we don’t pay attention to the substantial value added that takes place in education in our countries. There are children who score between 30 and 39 marks. They are not dumb, they are not stupid; they need a little more time than the ???eagles’ to make their mark too… because we mature intellectually and cognitively at different stages of our lives."

Commending teachers at the school, he appealed to parents to be like those of his generation who wanted to see their offspring achieve better than they had. "Parents must help children with their work. That is the foundation of learning. You must help your children," Mr. Jones stressed.

And, his advice to students was to disabuse themselves of any notions of negative behaviours, going into their new schools. He said: "Let the school that you go to know of your presence by your work, your discipline, your commitment to positive pursuit…"

jgill@barbados.gov.bb

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