Common Entrance Examination: Termites Jonesing!

Submitted by William Skinner
Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education

Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education

Once again the annual ritual surrounding the release of the Common Entrance Examination results, has taken center stage. While the Minister of Education rants and raves about the mathematics results, the Principal of the University of the West Indies seems down spirited about the science results at Cave Hill. Any alert observer will see the connection. If the foundation is bad the building would eventually fall.

The Minister of Education refuses to see that if the results are deteriorating under his watch, it may be time for him to move on to another ministry. But we have little regard for holding our leaders accountable. Dragging retired teachers from their gardening and other hobbies to teach math will not work because there is no retired teacher in his or her right mind, who will leave healthy flowers and vegetables, to return to the quagmire that now envelops the Ministry of Education.

Our entire education system is on the verge of collapse but like many other decaying structures the final fall may take some time. Carpenters know about new coats of paint giving the impression that there are no termites. However the termites are there and they will get the job done eventually. Truth is that we are afraid to “touch’ a single rotten board because we fear that the house will fall down. Just slap some paint on it!

We went about claiming that we had an almost one hundred percent literacy rate, while some of our children sitting the Common entrance, could not construct a simple sentence or count to fifty. The loquacious principal of the University at Cave Hill talked about a graduate in every household, while the employers were complaining that many graduates had not mastered basic English. No problem –just flood the place with them and hope for the best.

So next year around this same time, we will parade the “bright” students and some Minister will talk about math and English results. And some principal of Cave Hill will lament that the science results are not encouraging. The termites will be the only focused group on the island; slowly but surely making sure the house crumbles. Then we will call in retirees from the pest control industry.

They will probably say on arrival: We cannot treat dust-too late!

166 thoughts on “Common Entrance Examination: Termites Jonesing!

  1. @Bushie “when some ugly parent turns up unannounced talking bout they want to see a particular teacher….?”

    Except that I am very, very good star beautiful.

  2. @GEORGIE PORGIE June 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM “My experience at Harrison College was very different. I was always treated respectfully

    I expected to be treated respectfully and I was. I was always respectful to the staff, teachers and parents. also, from the nice gentleman who greets people at the Crumpton Street gate to the principal.

    It is not difficult to be well mannered and respectful.

    How much time and effort would it cost a principal (say at CP) to instruct all of his staff that all parents (ie. those people whose taxes pay your salaries) must be treated in a respectful manner. On arrival at the school all staff should say to the parents and other visitors.

    Good morning Sir or Good morning Ma’am How can I help you?

    And then proceed to help the parent or direct them to the person who can help them. It is not that complex especially early in the morning when teaching has not yet begun

    Parents don’t leave work to come to a school for nothing. We parents have many calls on our time and energy. If we go to a school it is because we have good reason to be there.


  3. @Bush Tea | June 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM |
    “….all like Hants so….driving bout his 5-Series Black Man Wheels”

    Hants probably catching the TTC and investing his money. BMW wha!

  4. @ MoneyBrain
    Bushie blames you somewhat…cause yuh selfish….
    Why do you think Tom wanted to tax you 70%? …it was because you could handle that level of national contribution….
    A man of your talent can’t expect to pay the same little 5% or 10% like any Tom Dick and Harry…
    To whom much is given, much is expected…..and a fellow with your level of talent MUST expect to make disproportionate levels of contributions…
    The 30% that Tom was leaving in your pockets would still have left you a multi- millionaire…. 🙂

    @ Ping Pong
    Your concerns are real and meaningful, however these are problems that MUST be addressed at the strategic level. In an environment where businesses are laying off full time employees it is not very likely that they will be any mass recruitment of vacation staff.

    @ Simple
    “…. I am very, very good star beautiful.”
    YOU TOO?
    Shiite man, David have a way of attracting film stars to BU….
    We know of Islandgal
    We recently heard of SSS
    Now you are spilling the beans….
    Tek care wunna don’t make Baffy pop he rope yuh…..

    …you have anything to say here ac? …any revelations?
    LOL hahahahahaha

  5. @Ping Pong “At least 4 000 young people will wish to enter the labour market over the next 2 or 3 months. What do they offer prospective employers?”

    There are probably 4,000 or more people aged 64, 65 and 66 year olds who would love to go home and begin their pensions right away, and hel mind their r grand children and leave 4,000 or more jobs to the newbies.

    Are we ready for a rethink of the retirement age…does it really have to be 67?

    Is the government THINKING at all?

  6. @Bush Tea “So here we have a highly expensive system DESIGNED to produce MoneyBrains and GPs, and to retard Caswell’s, David (BU)s and Lowdown’s….

    and efficient, charming ZR drivers and conductors…Leh me big up my ZR men

  7. @ Simple
    “….If we go to a school it is because we have good reason to be there”
    Sure you have….!
    …if you are a student, a teacher, member of ancillary staff, OR IF YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT.
    Stop complaining do… This time you was probably just looking to smile up in the teacher’s face – looking to get favors for your little Johnie or Suzie… – especially now we know yuh got a film star face…

    You lucky you did not butt up on a deputy head like BEAST…..
    LOL…. It is rumored that he used to cane parents along with their deviant children 🙂

  8. @Well Well June 14, 2014 at 1:14 PM “Money…….i thought it was Lowdown’s wife was the Barbados Scholar, don’t let Lowdown fool you”

    Wife is a Barbados scholar, Lowdown is a Barbados Exhibitioner…the man is no fool.

  9. This time you was probably just looking to smile up in the teacher’s face – looking to get favors for your little Johnie or Suzie ”

    Little Johnnie and Suzie are chips off the old block…smart…common sense…don’t ask for, need or accept favours.

    And did I add real, real good looking too.


  10. BushTea wrote “compete to be brilliant intellectuals like MoneyBrain, Hants and GP.

    Bushie please do not insult Moneybrain and GP. I am not in their league when it come to hard work and success.
    I am a lazy Bajan who only works hard when he has no choice or when given an opportunity to solve difficult problems.

    Also Bushie I have never owned a BMW. I do own a 3 litre v6 sport sedan with a top speed of 200kph+ but at 62 years of age I need to satisfy an extended mid life crisis.

    @ Simple Simon wrote “Hants probably catching the TTC and investing his money.

    Wrong. I don’t have any money to invest. I am just another han to mout Bajan waiting to be planted.

    Now I gine an get ready to guh to a free barbecue at one of my Canadian friends who is not han to mout like me.

  11. When my daughter was at secondary school she was doing fairly well in math but I decided to get her a little more help. She went to this retired teacher and his style of doing math was different from her school’s. She wanted to give him up as he obviously was not working for her .I still sent her to him and her school grades got worst. I eventually stopped sending her . Math has evolved and some teachers have not

  12. why not Hants?
    his ability to play as a God givn gift should not preclude his academic ability

  13. GP I was just highlighting the talent of this guy at 11 years old.

    I an an avid guitar player so I spend a lot of time listening to music.

    My two “passions” are fishing and playing guitar.

  14. all I was saying is dat if at age 11 he is a good player he should be encouraged to play, but this should not stop him from being an academic

    i wish i could play some musical instrument

    if i was an organist or pianist I could get lots of easy part time church jobs in this country

  15. hants he either has lots of discipline, or he like it real bad, or he has lots of God given talent or all three

    Thank God, I was never taught by Kellogs, reported to speak French wida Bajan accent. LOL

    I started off with LA Bourne (now a maguffy somewhere), then in 1 & 2nd form it was JV EARLE, and from 3-1 to 5-1 it was Ms BB Alleyne (Miss Prim & Proper)

  16. someone whose child attends one of the newer secondary schools should not fee that all is lost. four CXCs is what is needed to pursue great courses at the BCC, who cares about 9 or 10? i know personally of a young lady who attended Springer, left with 5, pursued her dreamed at BCC and now at 23 has her dream job which includes lots of travelling to places she never knew existed. i know of others her age that attended Queen’s College, had 8 CXCs and 4 CAPEs went to UWI, has a degree but no job or skills, i know of this young man who attended Queen’s College also just completed his degree and is now working as a cashier. now years ago when these 3 sat the Common Entrance, many would have sang the praises of the 2 who got places at Queens and the child who went to Springer? I always told her, life was not about the school she attends. her mum told her just aim for at 4 or 5 to get into BCC. She let school with 5 CXCs. At 23 they are all shocked at her accomplishments. i remember hearing work colleagues boast about their children at Harrison College, Queens, what they were doing, how much CXCs they left school with etc and today not one of those children have the success and accomplishment as yet, that this child from Springer has. I think along the way that parents forced some of those children to pursue degrees in medical, law etc because of the presumed prestige attached to those jobs but some way along the way the children had love for something else. as of today, this girl from Springer has a career that she sought, prepared and studied for that most people would be envious of. .so parents you do not have to be despondent or even think that it is the end of the world, it is not, let the child pursue their dream, give them opportunities to do so and leave the rest to God….

    • @Smoothy
      Brains for studying is merely one aspect of life. the real World can be too much for some. My friends daughter just graduated Queen’s Uni on the Dean’s List BUT does he have the confidence to become a Doctor?

      I know fellas that played the ass at HC but once they decided to head in a certain direction ( some academically, others in Business) became wildly successful, while others with nearly twice the CXCs etc are stuck in lower end jobs–SOOOO? Life has ups and downs and it is how U play the cards that counts. One of HC’s most brilliant grads, a Lawyer, died as an alcoholic on the streets of Bridgetown.

      Life is very complex. There are many solutions and even more problems

  17. The point of your argument is then, I suppose we should send all of our daughters to Springer memorial and urge them to strive only for 4-5CXC..
    Thanks, I will urge my son to see that his daughter attend Springer memorial and urge her to strive only for 4-5CXC..

  18. @ GP
    That is not her point..and you know it….
    The point is that success is NOT about CXCs or any particular school, but about setting goals based on your talents and interests AND THEN ACHIEVING THOSE GOALS,

    So a fella who ALWAYS wanted to be a motor mechanic and who works to achieve that – is MORE SUCCESSFUL than one who wanted to be a brain surgeon and had to settle for being a dentist… (LOL or settle for being a teacher of rich but dumb yankee children… 🙂 )

    @ Bob
    …who wants to know if Bushie is Vic Fernandes?
    ….market vendor?

  19. Money:
    I concur with that last post. life also has to do with environment and how the individual is nurtured. People normally have crises when transitioning from one phase of life to another: juvenile to man hood with its responsibilities.

    At times, we think these young people can handle these things but many need guidance through them and support!!

    Being bright in Barbados is about learning book work and repeating it laboriously, little critical thinking is involved!!

  20. Bush Tea, you know those dumb yankee kids you made mentioned to in what amounted to your confusing explanation? Well, one of those Dumb yankee kids, happens to be the number one pediatric neuro-surgean in the world. Talk about being a brain-surgean and dumb American kids in the same sentence! Ironic isn’t it Bushie?

  21. Lemuel, what do you know about critical thinking? And what has life experiences to do with critical thinking? Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Miamonides and Karl Jasper were all critical thinkers, who utilized theory to justify they own version of reality.

  22. Bushie:
    If our educational system tomorrow undertake the simple task of making sure every one within the system SHALL leave READING, WRITING and have a clear understanding of Maths at the primary level. Then Barbados would be ready to take off; at present all we produce are functional illiterates!! Cuba did it. if we need a revolution so be it!!

  23. Dompey:
    Go and take your medication!! If they are not working present yourself later to the psychiatric Hospital for electric shock treatment. They now give you medication to control the contortions so you would not hurt yourself, but the treatment really clears the mind of people like you!!

  24. Lemuel, one does not have to use an empirical reality, to validate the existence of the metaphysical God. One can use reason and common- sense, to arrive at the conclusion that God exist because the evidence in our universe clearly points directly to his existence.

  25. Lemuel, so what has practical experience to do with our young Barbadians making a decision? Most of what we learn are first conceived through ideas brother and ideas are formed on the basis of theory.

  26. Dompey:
    You are really a lucky lucky person. The standard treatment for person in your state was to push a sharp object just over the eye and scrap around to induce some sort of brain damage to normal people but in your case normalization of that great organ!!

  27. De Hood
    You sound real funny man… I love your jokes because their kinda minded me of the days when my grandmother and grandfather sat in a circle and told jokes in the village at night.

  28. Good night De Hood, my wife just order me to pluck her chin; she is growing a beard now. Enjoy the rest of your Father’s Day old man.

  29. Georgie Porgie

    I do agree that we have to encourage our young people to strive for excellence, but in our quest to inculcate this notion, we ought and must be realistic regarding our expectation of today’s young people. Not everyone is cut out for academics and why do you think trade schools were Invented in the first place?

    PG, this where you’re lacking in the critical thinking department brother.

    Simple Simon

    I didn’t know monkeys could talk these days? And how did you get on BU in the first? Did PG leave your cage door open SS? Oh shame on PG, is endangering the public safety by free such a wild animal.

    • Discussion about education is happening all across the Caribbean:


      This PPP regime has failed the working people of Guyana, despite all its talk of being a working class party and government. There has been a systematic and systemic failure on the part of the Ministry of Education and the PPP minority regime. 
      They have failed – dismally – to develop an education system that can meet the basic needs of the very poor and oppressed section of our country. The sloth in developing comprehensive institutions, where the less educated and disadvantaged could develop relevant skills to meet the growing demands in New Technology, agriculture and the construction industry.

      The fact that Education Minister MANIC-CHAND cannot accept abject failure when she sees and knows of it – must be a very worrying and a serious crisis facing our nation.

      My niece’s daughter took the 5th. place in the national award, but she was sent to a PRIVATELY-run institution and very dedicated support at home, particularly by her mother, and to a lesser degree her father, who is a "round the clock" medical surgeon.

      Our Public education system is being run by a wholly incompetent Education Minister and worse – yet, by an uncaring and corrupt government – that is incapable of producing the kind of children that the nation needs to enter the 21st.century.

      The top 5 – all went to PRIVATELY-OWNED institutions. That says a lot about our Public education system. No parent has any faith in the Government-run schools. When I returned from the UK, after 30 years, I was amazed to learn that a significant number of our children, who left school could not read and write.

      I wrote to – now deceased – Public Library Chief – to get the mobile Library to come down to the Greenwich Park Primary School and lend books to the children and their parents. Another institution approached me to get similar help and that also was afforded. These are very basic things that does not cost the nation much. But it is very essential for our community and our nation. Our children must be able to read and write, as an elementary tool.

      Today, we live under a regime that tells the world that it is "SOCIALIST" – which should mean – working in the interest of the working class, the poor and the oppressed of our country. But this is far from the truth. The PPP has become a government of the rich class and a rapidly developing middle class that has isolated themselves in "gated communities" all around the country.

      Parents are not given the right opportunities to educate their children and the right environment to bring them up. The lack of youth facilities – rising crime of all sorts, juvenile delinquency, drugs and alcoholism – is a very serious threat to the development of a highly educated and healthy young generation.

      Law and Order in Guyana has totally broken down. The manic display by the Education Minister, Pryia Manic-chand, in a recent debate in the National Assembly shows that we have no leadership in government. Not surprising, the youths have no respect for the elderly and there is little parental control.

      The trained and highly skilled teachers and lecturers are leaving the country – due to bad working conditions and poor salaries. Who expects them to stay when presented with better conditions of work and living conditions abroad?

      The educational institutions from nursery to university have experienced poor funding, poor teachers and lecturers and a serious crisis at the managerial level. Guyana needs a total change of governance – the sooner he better. Our future in our hands – not in the PPP.


      New Guyana School boy tops national Grade 6 exams

      By Samaria Deonauth and Desilon Daniels New Guyana School student Jorrel De Santos topped the country at this year’s National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA)

  30. WHERE IS …what has become…what is the status of ….the $3,000 busuraries promised to UWI Bajan student Minister Jones promised since August ? Has anybody received anything? Do let the BU family know…..

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