Problems related to Comprehension in the Barbados Secondary Schools??? Entrance Examination (BSSEE) are being worked on by teachers and can be improved upon.

Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, noted this yesterday, while addressing a handover ceremony that saw the European Union presenting 19 school kits to Class Four???s at St. Ambrose Primary School.

???We are still having too many children, especially in the English paper, in the final two segments of that, where we have the open-ended questions, making too many errors???Your sentence must be perfect, otherwise if you make one mistake you are going to lose one mark; if you make two mistakes you???ve lost all marks.

???So your grammar must be correct. Your subject and verb must be correct; your spelling must be correct. And, in fact, many of the students do quite well in the first part of the paper, which carries 70 marks and, in the final segment, 30 marks???that is where students really fall down,??? Mr. Jones said.

Stressing that he was aware teachers were working to improve students??? answers on that part of the paper, the Minister urged pupils to do their best and try not to lose marks, in this respect.

Pointing out there was nothing on either the Mathematics or English papers which they could not undertake, Mr. Jones said: ???I want students to focus. Read the question, re-read it and read it again to make sure you understand what is being asked. Then don???t make assumptions about your answers and where working is supposed to be shown, please show it.???

The Education Minister also called on parents and guardians of all students sitting the BSSEE on May 5 to treat the day as “a normal day???, even as it relates to the preparation of breakfast. He said children should only be given what they were accustomed to, as to do otherwise might make them ill.

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