|Anxious parents and guardians outside the gates of the Combermere School on the morning of the exam. (A. Miller/BGIS)|
Ministry of Education staff and principals have been praised for their administration and planning of the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination, commonly referred to as the Common Entrance Exam,??or the 11+.
The accolades have come from Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones. Speaking about the exam, he said: "That goes to the internal planning and organisation, of course, and they should be complimented.?? We had no problems whatsoever… I know some parents were a little irritated that they could not come through the gates of some schools, but I say to parents, the exam is not for you.?? In truth and in fact, sometimes the parent’s presence causes the greatest anxiety in the children. I’ve said this before, and I hope they don’t criticise me for this, but some [parents] only show the interest on the morning of the exam.?? When children need that interest from the time they enter school.?? That is what is important.?? Show interest," Mr. Jones emphasised.
He encouraged parents to question children about what they learnt on a daily basis and assist them in being ahead of the curriculum.?? Families should, he suggested, be a house of learners.??
"Don’t mind all the technology… We need the interest, care and regard of our parents, our aunts and our uncles, to help children to learn.?? When, as adults, we show interest for the learning of children, they perform well.?? It’s like track and field.?? Some mediocre runner performs first class because that trainer or coach said to him and got into his head ???you’re the best on the field; don’t mind the rest.?? Give me all you’ve got.’ You will see that person get to the finish line first, because they have been inspired by somebody who cares for them," the education minister suggested.??
Some 3,961 students wrote the examination yesterday at 22 secondary schools across the island.??