All students who sat the Barbados Secondary Schools??? Entrance Examination (BSSEE) have been allocated to a school.

This was disclosed today by Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, as he addressed a press conference that examined the results of this year???s exam.

Of the 3,729 students who sat the BSSEE, 3,590 or 96.3 per cent have been allocated places within public secondary schools, through the normal process used by the Ministry of Education and the Caribbean Examinations Council.

The Minister explained that the process took into consideration all the data supplied by parents and schools which was then input into the technology based on parental choice, exam scores and the clustering of scores that generated the 3,590 places. According to him, the other 3.7 per cent were placed manually by the Ministry, based on the availability of space.

Pointing out that this would not prevent parents from ???bombarding??? his Ministry based on ???all kinds of theories???, he stressed: ???Every year, I see it??? When the allocation is done it is done scientifically on parental choice and based on the capacity of the school to carry the numbers allocated. If School X has 180 places, School X cannot end up with 230 places. It is impossible to do that.???

A former teacher, Mr. Jones noted that the Ministry had to ensure certain standards and comfort for students and it did not make any sense for any class to have 35 or 40 students in the size classrooms that currently exist.

???We can accommodate all of our children across the various schools that we have in Barbados. So, I would therefore encourage parents to be contented with the work of their children and the schools to which they have been allocated. Praise them for their work and give them an opportunity to grow within the learning environment that is provided.

???By and large, we know [and] we recognise that it takes a supportive home, a supportive household, a conducive learning environment and the determination and the desire of children to learn to ensure that success is theirs at the end of five or six-year cycle of secondary schooling in Barbados. And, we have done our best to ensure all of our students have in fact been placed in the system,??? the Minister said.

While cautioning parents that the likelihood of reallocation to another school is about 0.05, the Education Minister said they only had until 4:00 p.m., this Friday, June 13, to get their requests in to the Ministry.

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