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Tweak it!

Calls for changes to the 11-PLUS exam

There is a suggestion from some guardians that the current Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination (BSSEE) could do with a bit of tweaking.

Last week, some officials called for the scrapping of the exam, which is commonly known as the 11-Plus, describing it as torturous and irrelevant.

Today, some parents who spoke to Barbados TODAY while waiting for their charges to take the exam, said while they were in favour of it, there could be some changes.

Aisha Skeete said while she has not given it much thought she saw it as “just another exam” to test the children’s grasp of what they have been doing “all along”.

Aisha Skeete said she saw the 11-Plus as “just another exam” to test the children. 

Aisha Skeete said she saw the 11-Plus as “just another exam” to test the children.

She added however: “It is a disadvantage for some people, because the exam environment all of them don’t do well with it. So they might do well throughout the school [year]; but when you get to the exam, then you don’t do as well. So some are disadvantaged.”

Pearline Cyrus said she did not believe the exam should be scrapped. She suggested that one of the issues was the pressure some parents placed on the children.

Pearline Cyrus does not want to see the 11-Plus exam scrapped. 

Pearline Cyrus does not want to see the 11-Plus exam scrapped.

“I think they should leave the 11-Plus. I don’t get nervous, because it is going to bug the children. Just let the children be. Tell them to go and do their best and that is it. They can’t do any more than their best. I have a grandson and a nephew doing the exams,” she said.

Nicole Burnett, who spoke to Barbados TODAY from the Coleridge & Parry location, said she had no qualms about the exam, especially since the introduction of zones.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Payne, whom our team caught up with at the Daryll Jordan Secondary School, said while she appreciated the 11-Plus she did not like the feeling that came with it.

“If I could get over this feeling, I don’t have a problem with the 11-Plus,” she added.

Maxine Griffith said she believed instead of putting the children from multiple different primary schools to do the exams at the secondary schools, they should be made to do the exams at their respective primary schools.

Donna Toppin said she believed more areas should be included for assessment.

“Even skillswise they could assess the child in general, because many children are not academically inclined, but they might have different abilities. So do an overall assessment of the child,”     urged Toppin.

The parents admitted that based on their experience some guardians were guilty of putting pressure on their children to perform in the BSSEE.

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