Submitted by The Scout
There was an interesting article in this week’s Nation newspaper by Father Errington Massiah about the failure of two sixth form schools not gaining Barbados Scholarships. While what the Education Minister Ronald Jones said is true, he should have pointed out the flawed system used to determine the entry to secondary schools in Barbados.
As it stands Harrison College and Queens College take the cream of the crop, the other schools take the remainder. What is interesting is that for sixth form these two schools again take the top achievement students from all the other schools, it therefore stands that these two schools [Harrisons and Queens College] should take all or most of the Barbados Scholarships.
What must be realised is that all of those students who gained scholarship each year from Harrison College especially did not obtain their early secondary education at that school, instead some came from the other secondary schools, even schools which have a sixth form. Great respect is due to those students who achieve Barbados Scholarships and Exhibitions who attended the lesser secondary schools, especially the newer ones.
Maybe it is time that Barbados focuses on offering scholarships in fields other than the academics. There are many children who are gifted in carpentry, masonry, culinary arts, graphics, other fine arts and other non-traditional scholarship areas that need assistance in furthering their studies.
In the international work world a highly qualified skilled person is more acceptable that a highly qualified academic. There are many persons with these bachelor or masters degrees who are producing below their qualifications. On the contrary, many lesser qualified skilled persons are in great demand. Maybe it is time the Ministry of Education to refocus the system by rebranding some of our secondary schools to skills schools. Perhaps only then will the playing field for skilled students to be granted Barbados Scholarship be levelled.