End the 11-plus foolishness!

Sincere apologies to the children who wrote the Common Entrance Exam on Tuesday!

We are sorry that we do not yet have a government that understands that there will never be a one-size-fits-all when it comes to learning that offers the opportunity to maximize a person’s full potential, nor one that understands that testing the nation’s children based on a standardized exam at the age of ten or eleven to separate them according to their performance on that exam alone, is foolishness.

World-renowned physicist and all-round thinker Albert Einstein was spot on when he said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The beauty of this world and the reason for all its technological and social advances are built on the reality that people approach problems from different levels of understanding. None brighter. None dimmer. Just different.

We are working to get to more enlightened times. We are strong advocates for doing away with the obscenity of this child-abusing 11 plus nonsense once and for all, and the creation of ten year schools underpinned by a grade point average to guide the process, and devoted to holistic development and skills training. Finland has no policy of separating children into failed concepts of ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ and because of this, it now has the best performing education system in the world.

We propose for Barbados the zoning of schools that would have the double positive effect of making our children feel comfortable as they grow and learn with their friends and neighbours over the ten years of their basic scholastic career, a time span that deepens bonds, cements community roots, and gives school officials, teachers and parents a long view across the growing stages of children to work together and with them to help achieve their full potential.

Until then, I personally would like to say, as I say every year, that children who take the 11 plus should not judge their lives by what happens next. Do your best but know that no one exam will ever be an indicator of your true knowledge, value or potential. Regardless of the results, be aware that your entire life is a learning process, and that some of the greatest minds came to full fruition long and far outside of the official school system.

Source: Phillip Edward Alexander

75 Responses to End the 11-plus foolishness!

  1. Melissa Griffith
    Melissa Griffith May 5, 2017 at 11:45 am

    i agree .

    Reply
  2. Julia Robinson
    Julia Robinson May 5, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Great article!

    Reply
  3. Sharon Dominique
    Sharon Dominique May 5, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Well said!

    Reply
  4. Geraldine Watson
    Geraldine Watson May 5, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I agree the 11-plus should be done away with. It is ancient, and holds no significance in 2017.

    Reply
  5. Isha TeamScorpio Walker
    Isha TeamScorpio Walker May 5, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I agree.

    Reply
  6. Tricia Mondore
    Tricia Mondore May 5, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Great article, i preach this everday.

    Reply
  7. Stevenson Rowe
    Stevenson Rowe May 5, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Very well said

    Reply
  8. Shakira Shemora
    Shakira Shemora May 5, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I believe they should leave it. Let the children study and have a goal to aim for, the problem only comes from parents who keep telling the children “you better pass for a top school! ” and then when the results come out the child is disappointed and feels like a failure. Instead encourage the children to do their best and that’s when there would be less stress.

    Reply
    • Ramona Chiedu Louisa Taylor
      Ramona Chiedu Louisa Taylor May 5, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      most of the top schools are old and filled with asbestos

      Reply
    • Shakira Shemora
      Shakira Shemora May 5, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      Thats a matter that simply could be fixed with care and attention

      Reply
    • Barry Prescod May 7, 2017 at 9:13 am

      I initially wrote a long reply but point-form seemed appropriate for the intended reader.

      1. CSEC is also a standardizing exam.

      2. Yes, the idea of high and low schools is damaging to students.

      3. Secondary schools should work to bring Math and English to an acceptable level in 11+ students who were weak at the time of examination.

      4. Every secondary school should have a strength (eg. Carpentry, Mechanics, Biology, Cooking, Engineering, etc).

      5. Each zone should have at least one school of each specialty, that they might compete with each other.

      6. Naturally, limited school transfers by teacher/principal recommendation would be a thing.

      7. St. Leonards and Springer Memorial didn’t get more athletes than other schools, they worked on developing the ones they did have.

      8. All systems have cracks, which a handful of students will inevitably fall through. Minimizing those numbers is the important task.

      9. These 8 points are an opinion/point of view as is the article by Mr. Alexander.

      Reply
  9. Kaiser Sose
    Kaiser Sose May 5, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    All schools should be funded and treated the same.Public education should never segregated.
    It creates a stigma children should neved have to carry.

    Reply
    • Yvonne Sealy
      Yvonne Sealy May 5, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Are u aware dat both private n public schools do d same 11+? Don’t have to answer….rhetorical

      Reply
    • Kaiser Sose
      Kaiser Sose May 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      Yvonne Sealy: Private is paid for by the parents private funds and that is their right to do so, publicly funded schools should not be parsing students by test scores it promotes a student schism that relegates kids to the minor and major leagues which is crass and abhorrently wrong and wounds the minds delicate psyche “unfair” so some how kids that go to LODGE are better than the kids that go to St. George secondary well ma’am i beg to differ vociferously.
      By your point that means the teachers at the latter mentioned school are inferior to the first mentioned school as well which does a disservice to both learning institutions educators as well.

      Reply
  10. Mark Lynch
    Mark Lynch May 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Needs too done for real, too much pressure pun de kids at that age.

    Reply
  11. Shani Benjamin May 5, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    I would shake your hand

    Reply
  12. Melissa Griffith
    Melissa Griffith May 5, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    one do not need a exam to encourage children to do their best ? and cultural behaviour will not change, similar to political behaviour therefore, the idea of one exam to determine the fate of a child is rubbish.

    Reply
    • Geraldine Watson
      Geraldine Watson May 5, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      The biggest flaw of the 11 plus. It tries to determine a child future.

      Reply
  13. Lisa Moller
    Lisa Moller May 5, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I was born in Barbados and went to school in Barbados and sat the 11 plus of which I passed with a measly 52.5 % . I now live in the U.K. and have my own business and my children have no idea what the 11 plus is lol….however they have S.A.T.S which is similar but is not based on the child’s ability but based on the teaching performance of the school they are at which still causes stress on them as they are pressured by the school to pass, which in my opinion as a childcarer myself is ridiculous as all children learn differently.

    Reply
  14. David Cumo
    David Cumo May 5, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Yes cause I know people that went to d so call top schools and just drinking rum all day

    Reply
  15. Elizabeth May 5, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Who ever wrote this article, need to leave Barbados and travel to other countries and see some of the educational level kids, that went through the school system and don’t have 11 plus ,and see how dumb some young adult are, can’t read,calculate or have any kind sense as to how to deal with life every day woes.11 plus keep our kids well educated and can be worked for living when they become adults, and live not live on welfare system. West indies people are some of most well educated people in the world ,check the ratings that was issued a few months ago, stop the nonsense, education get people’s out of poverty, kids here the usa would like 1/4 of the education that our kids get ,but don’t.

    Reply
  16. Anderson Steven
    Anderson Steven May 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    A few questions:
    What harm has the 11 plus done re the development of this country? Don’t many people who performed below par on that day still reach their career goals and beyond? What new experimental system shall we replace it with? How shall we cater to children who are capable of performing above the ordinary or at a faster rate if we subject them to a system that keeps them behind with others. Wouldn’t we also be stymieing the potential of kids who are advanced? Should all exams then be banished because they create pressure? I thought the 11+ was an introduction to real life. You are awarded a school according to your ability or performance then you have the opportunity to find your niche or strengths at your appointed institution. What is the foolishness in that? Why are we always seeking to fix what isn’t broke just to invent new problems? Very concerned. Smh.

    Reply
    • Phoenix Sevyn
      Phoenix Sevyn May 5, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      The persons who write these articles either fell victim to this test or have kids who have fallen victim to this test.

      Reply
    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor May 5, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      Amen

      Reply
    • Silvana Joseph-Husbands
      Silvana Joseph-Husbands May 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      it was not a good experience for my family three years ago sorry. It was one of the most stressful times for me and more so my daughter as i tried my hardest to convey to her it was just a test an will not dictate her future.That no matter where she goes she will succeed. But that is not what she understood based on what Barbados was saying (meaning the media, teachers, friends, family John public) she said if its not that important why is everyone and i mean everyone talking to her about it every chance they got,all they talked about was the test she said except for you and dad mum. There were many nights and mornings of tears, not wanting to go to school, stomach aches etc. Every child is different, we hear about the joyful side of this event cause that is what it is. Well I thank God i don’t have to go that route any more.

      Reply
    • Yvonne Sealy
      Yvonne Sealy May 5, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Silvana; well maybe u didn’t do a good enough job at convincing ur daughter about life and all the challenges dat come with it; some we will like n some we won’t…. So don’t blame d 11+ for ur ignorance; sorry but not really sorry

      Reply
  17. Lynx Haynes
    Lynx Haynes May 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    The 11+ needs to be banned period!!! It set an unhealthy mentality for most of society with these so called good schools and bad schools. It puts undue pressure on both child and parents. You cannot seriously evaluate anyone far less a child from one exam. Stigmatization in this country when it comes to education stems a great deal from the 11+. A child should be evaluated every year along with teachers because they are too many smart kids with learning disabilities and problems psychological and otherwise that tend to slip through the cracks way too much in BIM children should be assessed as teenagers versus primary school. And Please Oh Please do not sit down and pretend that a teacher who goes to St Lucy Secondary will only give 50% and them get transferred to Combermere or Harrison’s College and give 110%
    People need to stop pretending the education system is BIM right now is failing these kids
    This is one of the major reasons. Do away with the damn thing and start catering to these children properly and stop forcing old colonial bullshit that’s clearly not working for these times these kids smdh

    Reply
  18. Samud Ali
    Samud Ali May 5, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Who puts the pressure on the children? A simple assessment test (as if we’re not tested throughout our entire life?) OR is the pressure coming from parents? Or from a ministry who must show results? No test is without pressure, every activity we get into has a level of pressure to succeed; maybe the problem lies in the continued growth of a national ego which keeps us focusing on the wrong things and wondering why we don’t develop

    Reply
    • Natasha Knowles
      Natasha Knowles May 5, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Totally agree Samud – basic English language and math skills at 11 years old should not be a big deal .

      Reply
    • Kathyann Best
      Kathyann Best May 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Agreed. They then go on to do cxcs…more tests..way more subjects

      Reply
  19. Phoenix Sevyn
    Phoenix Sevyn May 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I wonder if the person who wrote this or the ones agreeing ever saw a common entrance paper……you mean to tell me after 7 years of primary school a child cant be tested on simple concepts? A normal child who is helped with homework etc has absolutely no reason to fail common entrance unless something out of the ordinary occured and threw them off. I’m convinced persons who believe in the above are persons who fell victim to this exam or those with kids who are worried that their kids won’t fear well

    Reply
  20. Jacqui Barnes
    Jacqui Barnes May 5, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Thank you so much for putting into words well written my thoughts pertaining to this subject.

    Reply
  21. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes May 5, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    If they claim all schools are the same, then why use the exams and parent’s choice to determine which school they go to? I sat it, went to St. Leonard’s Girls. Now I have my Ed.D.

    Reply
  22. Deborah May 5, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Are we placing the blame the right place. Is the common entrance the real problem. If we change the education system without fixing the root cause of the problem, we will just end up going around and around in a circle

    Reply
  23. ALEX ALLEYNE May 5, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    THE FIRST THING A DRUNK-MAN WILL SAY ,”I AIN’T DRUNK”.

    Reply
  24. fedup May 5, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    In my day one sat the exam at, and for, the school chosen by one’s parents.

    Reply
  25. Queenie ShaSha
    Queenie ShaSha May 5, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    So change CXC too and college exams and cape and sbas….
    Tests are everywhere so is pressure . FEeding kids a false sense of reality will only make them think the world conforms to suit them and it doesn’t… In the real world especially overseas you are either good enough or not good enough. We are only setting them up to get their feelings hurt….period

    Reply
  26. Bonita Weekes
    Bonita Weekes May 5, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Lisa Moller I agree with you, I have been talking about this exam for over 20 yrs, it’s a pity that in 2017 we still have people who will not admit that it has outlived it’s purpose. If it is so sues soul why is it that according to a former Minister of Education only 30% of children leave school with 4 or more CXC passes. What happens to the rest, this is geared only toward the brightest ones succeeding, yes a few of the others will manage to come on later but how many do. They are other ways to allocate children to secondary school. All children do not have the same ability but you tell them that at 11 they should all have attained a certain standard. Further insult them by doing this test, those who get 15 or 20% then go to another school that says by age 16 you should be at another level, if you are not, we will put you out of school. If your parent who is usual a single mother can’t pay a tertiary institution so that you could have a chance at doing what you could not do at school, what happens to you. I know for a fact that all the Islands do not do that exam. Yes the have to be tested but the way this is done no longer makes sense. As always those who have been high achievers think nothing of the others. It’s time to wake up otherwise the blocks will get bigger and we will have to build another prison. I know that many of the people who can effect change know that something needs to be done but seems like nobody has the guts.

    Reply
    • Lisa Moller
      Lisa Moller May 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Practical learning in my 22 years experience working with children has always been the best way to teach. Not every child is academically minded and those that aren’t always feel the pressure against their peers. Things like dyslexia for example is that accounted for in the exam..I bet not! Every class in the school up here has the main teacher and then a teaching assistant who helps and assists the ones who are struggling. Now I’m by no means saying that things here are better than there. The standard of education in Barbados in my opinion is much much better than here but the way it’s done there is somewhat outdated.

      Reply
  27. Bonita Weekes
    Bonita Weekes May 5, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Correction…… If it was so successful why

    Reply
  28. Rupert Greaves May 5, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    We are masters at saying “change this and change that” but we never ever have what it takes to come up with a reasonable and workable alternative. All of you who agree with the topic, please finish the sentence “End the 11-plus foolishness” and replace it with…… I might even agree with you. Remember Trump said he didn’t know being President would be so difficult.

    Reply
  29. Deworld May 5, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    The Common entrance examination MUST remain. Scrap it and then poor people children would not get into the top schools where they belong. The rich again would pay bribes to get some of their not so bright children into the top schools.

    The examination seeks to place the children at the same level of learning together, and wherever possible place them in a school that is within their proximity, so they would not have to travel long distances to school.

    Children learn at different rates, some early, others late. Would you want your child in a class with children who needs remedial teaching, if your child is what we call a high flyer.

    The system as it is need improving not abolishing.

    Reply
  30. Deworld May 5, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Bonita, the problem lies at the primary level not at the secondary level….teachers have too many children in a class at the primary level to be able to give each child the attention it deserves. Some children at the primary level need specialised teaching.

    Reply
  31. Beverley Hunte-Springer
    Beverley Hunte-Springer May 5, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    The biggest problem with the 11 plus is the press. If they would stop publishing all those children who pass for certain schools we would not have this problem. Years ago this was not done. Stop it and leave the 11 plus just where it is.

    Reply
  32. Marcia Pilgrim May 5, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I add my voice to those who recognize that the common entrance exam is educationally unsound and does not maximize the potential of young people in Barbados. We need to advocate for evidence based practice. Ability grouping, of which our present system is an extreme example, does not improve outcomes for the vast majority of students. As a nation we should pause, reflect and continually improve our system. Having these discussions and moving forward is vital.

    Reply
  33. Nathaniel Samuels May 5, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Such a quandary. I believe that children like adults, have to learn to withstand pressure and the 11-Plus is just one of the many pressure situations that will be encountered. When the child gets to age sixteen, there will be tests and so it goes on all through life. I would also like the best of the best to be together to get the best possible result for the country. The problem is the not too smart one who must be given other opportunities so that they have a real chance in life.

    Reply
  34. Kunarj May 5, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    What have those who have gone to higher schools done to improve our country?

    Whay programs have they developed?

    What techniques have they created?

    What new ways of doing things have they come up with to improve barbados have they done?

    Also slow and faster children can work together to even propell further than we care to think our society is based on that.

    I dont believe it should be abolished but it shouldnt be the only meter stick of someones ability.

    And i would really like any one who comments to tell me 10 things any one who went to a higher secondary school has developed in the pass 20 years.

    Reply
  35. Liz Waller
    Liz Waller May 5, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Yes! Children should not be made to feel that their worth or their success in life depends on how they do in one exam.

    Reply
  36. Renaldo Babb May 5, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    I listen to all you people that say abolish it and no one is putting a viable solution on the table. The problem comes where parents don’t find time to work with their children and wait until a year before the exam to try to get the child ready. If by class 4 5tgey don’t understand basic concepts due to the negligence of their parents how can they learn it all in one year? People need to stop blaming the system and do their jobs as parents. I am sick and tired of us making excuses for our short comings. The 11+ exam is not difficult and if you do the research iou will more than likely find that majority of the children who do well have parents who invest time or money or both in their children’s education from early. Stop trying to lower the bar and prepare the children accordingly. Identify weaknesses early and move swift to correct them. I can point to countless situations where children have been left to do as they please and then as they reach class 4 parents dumping a whole set of pressure on the children and making them feel like failures if they don’t do well. It is the parents who failing the children and then don’t want to take any responsibility for it. Stop thinking that the school system is a one stop shop where the kids learn everything and you as parents don’t need to put in the extra time and effort with them. We can find time and money for reggae on the hill and socs royale and crop over but then to pay $20-$40 for extra lessons in the early is a problem. We don’t even teach our children the value of education and apply adequate examples. It’s just about passing for a “good school” so we can Bragg to our friends and families about what school the child pass for. Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop looking at this with tunnel vision. Stop trying to lower the bar and raise our standards. That is what we need to tea the children. If not everytime something gets difficult they will blame the system . With that attitude we will never make progress in this country.

    Reply
  37. Wayne Spooner
    Wayne Spooner May 5, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    11 plus is why Barbados is in the top tier when it comes to education in the world. 11 plus is why when i got to the US I was way more ahead in learning at 16 than they were at 19…… it works.

    Reply
  38. Mj May 5, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    This sounds a whole lot like this (https://youtu.be/dqTTojTija8) spoken word piece.

    Reply
  39. Anne-Marie Elcock May 5, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I just read the article and then I read the comments. Based on the comments I had to read it again. Some asked, so where is the testing? Ok the author said it would be in your GPA. Which implies testing. Secondly, are we going to pretend that the school you pass for doesn’t follow you the rest of your life and predispose the child to a stigma that society has constructed? Please we do not live in an ideal world and we must deal with our reality. People judge each other every day. It’s part of our DNA. But what those in authority must do is first be trained to recognize bias and then put checks and markers to guard against it. Zoning with testing in a rounded subject field will bring out the child’s potential from early and build self confidence.

    Another point is that a person does most of the development within the first 12 years of its life. When that window is closed it is a difficult task indeed. We need to learn more about the brain and how it’s developed. There is so much research on it. And no you are wrong, even if my child makes it into à “good” school, I will certainly feel the same way.

    Reply
  40. Mark Adamson May 5, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    The People’s Democratic Congress (PDC) – the party of which I have the honour to lead – is ABSOLUTELY and UNCOMPROMISINGLY for the ABOLITION of this Common Entrance Exam in Barbados.

    This exam must go!!

    It must be replaced by a National Continual Assessment Program from the primary stage to the secondary stage.

    We are also for the FULL Zoning of primary and secondary schools in this country, with a few exceptions.

    Reply
  41. Nicole Best
    Nicole Best May 5, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Why are you going to base a child’s secondary school life based on two subjects and when they get there they have 13 or 14 other subjects to do. Why not expose them as much as possible on these other subjects from as early as possible testing them along the way. Integrated Science and Social Studies or even Spanish are thought in Primary Schools but at the Common Entrance level only English and Maths is concentrated on.

    Reply
  42. Mary Bupp May 5, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Simplistic

    Reply
  43. Mel May 5, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    In my opinion it’s just an exam but it should be done at the child’s school so they can feel comfortable and relaxed..rather to be done at a strange school and amongst strangers plus hearing the negatively words coming from some parents….

    Secondly they are some children who are highly intelligent and bright but when it comes to a test …they just seems to loose confidence and score low marks … so just thinking why don’t teachers and parents pay much more attention…pick out those children and let the ministry send them to secondary school pertaining to how their percentage is for during the 3 terms ..

    In conclusion over viewing everything 11+plus is not bad …it’s society…parent’s and other family members who is the major cost for children’s potential learning …because as a child growing up you would always be hearing” if you pass for Parkinson I would beat you or “ya dumb cause you pass for that school or st.george ” .
    Some parents need to take time with their kids and maybe the 11plus might not seems to be such a big fuss …

    Reply
  44. Matthew Worrell May 5, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    All the talk right , when those children go on to do cxcs etc they are going to still have to do the same exams , no matter where you go Maths and English are a must ,enough of this snowflake foolishness

    Reply
  45. artneal abbey May 6, 2017 at 6:24 am

    i love this article.

    Reply
  46. Vanessa Smith May 6, 2017 at 7:35 am

    I am a product of the Common Entrance Exam. It’s common that everyone is afforded the same opportunity. It is also common that you will thrive in an environment aligned with like minds. If it is your desire to be an Attorney you have to pass the Bar Exam. If yo want to be a Doctor you have to pass the Medical Board Exam.
    While I strongly agree that not everyone tests well, this is a rites of passage moment. In life you will be tested. How you respond to test will determine if you succeed or if you fail. The Eleven Plus is not the deciding factor of how successful you will be in life. If it was there would be no Bill Gates, (Microsoft) Dave Thomas, (Wendy’s) Richard Branson (Virgin), David Karp (Tumblr) Jay-Z, Uma Thurman, Quentin Tarantino and the list goes on.
    We as parents need to educate our kids to use all of their imagination and creativity to become entrepreneurs to invent, design, discover and create. There are no limitations to how successful they can be. Any obstacle in the journey of life can be overcome by sheer determination, tenacity and the will to succeed. These characteristics do not lie in your test scores but in your hearts. They are cultivated by parents and mentors in your circle who believe in your ability to succeed. I wish you all much success as you traverse on your journey to adulthood.

    (Virgin), David Karp (Tumblr)and the list goes on.

    Reply
  47. Corey Welch May 6, 2017 at 7:53 am

    As a Instructional Designer I would have to agree; however, if you have the same level of qualify teachers teaching the same curriculum, it shouldn’t matter what institute these children attend.

    Reply
  48. Andrew Ivo May 6, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Check the top three school systems in the story. Look at the level of development within those nation

    http://www.businessinsider.com/wef-ranking-of-best-school-systems-in-the-world-2016-2016-11/#9-new-zealand-56-3

    Reply
  49. Rose May 6, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Stupse its the same parents that talking about putting pressure on the children who puts the pressure on their own children for example they will say stuff like if you dont pass for a good school you aint getting nothing for your birthday stuff like that so they go into the exam with that on their mind and end up failing so please…….

    Reply
  50. Kamala May 6, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I do agree. I did not go to the top secondary school I want to one that no one wanted their children to go and I also did not go to collage but I go a scholarship and went to university university to my suprise I was getting better grades than the children who went to the top school in my country and also collage. My poor is that this article is proven true and children need to be treated with more respect to help motivate them and not separate or judged them.

    Reply
  51. LeRoi May 6, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    I believe that the parents have a very important role to play when it come to our children’s education. We need to be more involved and stop looking for something or someone else to blame. If we as parents pay attention to what and how our children learn and develop, it would be if great help. I am not convinced that the 11+ is working since it judges every child who functions at different levels with the same exam and expects them to produce the same. We should have more technical schools and the process to identify who is who should be different from what we currently have. If we use a system that takes into consideration the development of the children from the time they enter school and follows their progress, I believe something like that would be more helpful.

    Reply
  52. Anon May 6, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    To the people who are disagreeing with the article,
    You are missing the point of the article. What the writer is trying to say is that all children should not be tested on the same subjects because all children are different and therefore have different strengths and talents, so they all should not be subjected to being tested to a set criteria because those areas may not be their strong points, so it is better to have a variety of subjects that the children can choose from and allow them to choose what appeals to them and test them on those.

    Reply
  53. Sherri Jones May 6, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Do you really think that a child with a slower pace brain is going to flourish in a class where 90% of the students are fast paced? How many teachers do you think are going to slow a n entire class down for one student?

    The purpose of the exam is to put like mind students together. So that they can learn at the same pace. If you put a child who would earn a bursary, in a class of Harrison College minded students, how long before they drop out of school?

    Reply
  54. Tony Waterman May 7, 2017 at 4:58 am

    “We are working to get to more enlightened times. We are strong advocates for doing away with the obscenity of this child-abusing 11 plus nonsense once and for all, and the creation of ten year schools underpinned by a grade point average to guide the process”
    So from this statement i am going to ASSUME that under the GPA system you are pushing, all Students WILL be EQUAL, they will be NO Failures, and if by Chance they are some who do NOT attain a high enough GPA how do you suppose they should be treated, perhaps to make them feel good promote them anyway. to what End ??
    so that they can end up like their Brothers and Sisters in the USA system who Graduate from College and are Unable to even read their Diploma ??
    BTW!!!! Who exacyly is “WE”

    Melissa Griffith,Julia Robinson,Tricia Mondore,Stevenson Rowe!!!!Really, how about researching the System (GPA) that is being touted as the best thing since Slice Bread.Please don’t follow the Writer like a sheep to the Slaughter.

    @Shakira Shemora!!! Seems as if you and I are the Only Persons who realise that the Parents are the Problem, when i took that same Exam umpteen years ago, i had only ONE Chance as it came when i was 11+,My Mother walked with me to the School, hugged me, said “Do your Best” and went back Home, Today the Parent Hang hang around the Location, which should NOT be permitted.
    As far as i can Remember back then, you sat the exam at the School that you would attend if you were successful, i Sat and Passed for Combermere.

    @ Ramona Chiedu Louisa Taylor!!!!What does that statement have to do with what the conversatipn is about??

    @Kaiser Sose!!!! all of which is perpretrated by the Parents, not the
    Ministry or the Minister.

    @Phoenix Sevyn!!!you are probably TRUE, I was NOT the Brightest, but after Miss Roach, Miss Linton, Wesley Hall & St.Giles,How could i Fail???

    @Cherylann Bourne-Hayes!!!! you have just proven that the 11+ Exam is not detrimental to the progress of the Children taking it, The Finance Minister als went to a newer High School, look up his Credentials.

    Much ado about Nothing

    Reply
  55. Nikita May 7, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I don’t know if I would say be done with the 11+ exam. Children can excel no matter where they go. If they have goals and aspirations they will work towards them; their parents and family play a very important role in this. Each secondary school does the same CXC exams at the end of secondary school life; are we going to say done away with CXCs & CAPE? We are accepted into Community College and University with a minimum amount of certificates and particular grades. When we get there we do exams to obtain our degrees; are we going to say done away with diplomas and degrees? We do driving tests to prove that we are capable to and responsible to be on the roads with vehicles; should we done away licence tests too? We choose to aspire, we choose to be responsible, we choose what we want to be and how we will get there.

    Reply
  56. Akiel Roberts May 8, 2017 at 10:36 am

    I understand entirely what you are saying, but what alternatives do you recommend as a solution? We can’t just say let’s abolish the system that we’ve been using from the begin, you also need to propose a solution to deal with the problem because it really is a problem. And how does this education system in Finland work entire and for them exactly?, you didn’t mention! What other advantages does that system have to it, so us as a people can see the improvements over time(as it relates to Barbados) ? And let’s not forget about the disadvantages of their system, because it must have something that doesn’t always work out. But the good must be better since it is a thriving educational system yes? i just want to mainly see the alternatives please

    Reply
  57. CarmelSan May 8, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Zoning sounds all well and good until an 80% student is in a class full of those who score 30% or vice versa, simply because the school is in their zone. Could you imagine the injustice to either party?

    By doing the Common Entrance, students are placed in schools according to their abilities. It is not about making one child feel better than another, it is about placing a child in an environment where he or she can learn at a suitable pace. If in a class there are 25 children scoring lower than 30% and 5 who score 80% or higher, at the end of the day there is only one teacher who will most likely teach to accommodate those slower ones, therefore placing the minority at a disadvantage.

    Pray tell, what would you replace the common entrance with? After 7 years in primary school, there must be some assessment of the children’s abilities. At the end of secondary school, would you cut out CXC’s and CAPE and just let everybody in University??? No, at the end of the day, there must be some sort of assessment of students’ academic capabilities.

    Back in the day when persons had to pay for secondary education, it was the rich whites sending their children to the “good schools” because they could afford it, regardless of the child’s ability. Poor black children had no chance of receiving a good education, regardless of if they could score 100% in every single test! Having all students set one exam levels the playing field, whether rich or poor, you will be tested on your aptitude.

    I take the point of having some continuous assessment/GPA system. However, who will monitor it? Who is to say that all schools will mark their children on the same criteria, thereby making it a fair system? Who is to say that some rich person whose child is lagging behind wouldn’t pass a few Grantleys to the class teacher to fix the score? To avoid this, the papers must be set and marked centrally and independently… which is in essence the same thing as the Common Entrance Exam, just that they would now be doing it several times instead of just once.

    Bajans love to cry down a system or process, but cannot offer viable solutions. At the end of the day there must be some fair process of assessment, on which all children are tested based on the same criteria. This is necessary so that when they move onto the next stage of their education, they are appropriately placed in a learning institution which best caters to their needs and at which they are taught according to their pace.

    Reply

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