Students Should be Asked to Resit Maths Exam

Submitted by Anthony Davis

Concerned parents wnat to know how CXC will respond to the reported glitch in the Maths paper.

In the fourth and fifth paragraphs of the Barbados Today ‘Glitch in CXC Maths Paper’ article it states:

“One parent who complained that her son was ‘distraught’ when he came out of the examination room, said he didn’t complete the paper because it was ‘numbered incorrectly…”It was out of order, and when he put up his hand to ask the invigilator a question she asked him if he was slow. So I contacted parents that I know who had students also did it (wrote the Math paper) from other schools, and everybody had the same thing that the paper was in a mess,” she said”.

Pray tell me, is an invigilator only there to look pretty?

It’s an invigilator’s job to assist those who are taking exams in whatever way he/she can. That invigilator was therefore way out of line by not trying to assist that student. Worse yet was to ask him if he were “slow”.

As far as I recall, we in Barbados have gone beyond that line of thinking!

The question here is also whether she gave that answer because it was a male student, as some females do not know how far to carry their feminism.

I would suggest that his parents write a letter to the Ministry of Education with a copy to the head of the invigilators and state his case against said invigilator because he couldn’t complete his paper as she didn’t have the right attitude for the job. She hasn’t the stuff of which invigilators are made. It’s obvious that if they don’t have any patience and exhibit it in front of students then the students will become flustered.

How will those students be graded now?

Will the young man – and other students – get a chance to take the exam again?

Methinks that the exam should be set for another date so that students can have the opportunity of having the pages in the correct order.

It would be only fair to the students and their parents/guardians

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33 Comments on “Students Should be Asked to Resit Maths Exam”

  1. David May 21, 2017 at 6:57 AM #

    Not sure why an invigilator would take such an aggressive position with students given the emotional state of the examinee. Let us hope that it was the exception and not the role.


  2. Angela May 21, 2017 at 7:38 AM #

    Unfortunately Many teachers today do not have the dedication to their jobs as they had in my day and even thirty years ago. I am told by students and parents that some teachers belittle and are deliberately insulting to some children instead of giving encouragement and they continually let you know they have a degree.

    The problems in the schools today are systemic and can only be solved when the entire population embarks on a cleansing and rebirth of respect for the law, rules, regulations and respect for themselves and their peers. If we really want to change the cource that this island is sailing down to self destruction, we need to have leaders who have the guts to acknowledge the problems and start to get society to work together regardless of political affiliation for the good of our island and its future.


  3. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger May 21, 2017 at 8:33 AM #

    One more reason to scrap that useless 11 plus exam.


  4. Alvin Cummins May 21, 2017 at 10:08 AM #

    Well Well,
    This was not an 11plus examination. It has to do with attitude. I have been an invigilator at many exams at the University, and these types of things occur. Sometimes it is an error in printing or some other reason. An invigilator’s duty is to prevent cheating; in one form or another, but an invigilator should also be understanding and sympathetic. If a student points out what is perceived to be an error in the paper, the invigilator should get in contact with the authorities immediately; at the University by contacting the examinations division and drawing it to their attention, or, I would surmise, drawing it to the CXC office, or the Ministry of Education, and, in the mean time, try to put the students at ease. They should never be rude or contribute to the students’ discomfort by being dismissive or haughty. CXC students have enough pressure otherwise. Their entire future may be decided at that time. (CXC exam time)


  5. lawson May 21, 2017 at 11:48 AM #

    whats the worry most of the boys these days only have to be able to count to six…… ten at the most


  6. Hal Austin May 21, 2017 at 2:43 PM #

    Every school leaver should have CXC maths, English and ICT. Get rid of the Confucius Institute and start mass classes in maths.


  7. David May 21, 2017 at 2:49 PM #

    Hal Barbados is reported to be fiddling with STEM.


  8. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger May 21, 2017 at 2:53 PM #

    Lawson…dont worry about Barbados, the majority population owns that island free and square, I hope ya packing ya bags…the native Canadians want back their country…I told you, the US will be next.

    “Long walk to counter Canada 150 celebrations
    Canadian Press Canadian Press
    Steve Lambert
    4 hrs ago
    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, right, walks with Ivanka Trump at the Royal Court Palace, on May 20, 2017, in Riyadh.Ivanka Trump meets with Saudi women leaders as activists remain critical
    WINNIPEG – A Manitoba indigenous leader plans to walk 120 kilometres next month in a decidedly different commemoration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

    Derek Nepinak, grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said his Walk to Remember is to celebrate the resilience of indigenous people in the face of what has happened to them since Confederation.

    “We don’t have a lot to celebrate when it comes to 150 years of assimilation and genocide and marginalization,” Nepinak said.

    “We have more to reflect upon the resilience of our families, the strength of our communities and nations of indigenous people in light of this.”

    Nepinak plans to walk from the site of a former residential school that his mother attended in Dauphin, Man., to his home community — Pine Creek First Nation — where another residential school once stood.

    Nepinak’s decision follows deliberations at a recent assembly conference at which elders declared they would not be celebrating Canada 150.

    The walk was also inspired by the death of Chanie Wenjack, recently brought to broad public attention by Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip. Wenjack died from exposure and hunger at the age of 12 in 1966 after he escaped from a residential school in northern Ontario and tried to walk 600 kilometres home.

    The renewed interest in Wenjack’s story is part of a growing awareness of residential schools, but many non-indigenous Canadians still don’t realize the extent of the damage caused by the schools, child welfare apprehensions and other government policies in Canadian history, Nepinak said.”


  9. Hal Austin May 21, 2017 at 3:11 PM #

    Fiddling is right. We are a bit behind the rest of the world. I have said before, in the UK the government pays for all citizens to study English and maths to GCE level. Yo will b surprised the number of people who do not take advantage of this.


  10. lawson May 21, 2017 at 5:30 PM #

    Look WW just like you we have issues up here but when an Indians favorite colors are blue and blue light I am hard pressed to take the blame for what someone did generations ago thinking they were doing the right thing. We have been paying them reparations for years but the greed of some never lets it filter down to the unfortunate. But the new kid on the block is refugees, so they may have to open more casinos because the money train seems to be going in a different direction. In my city you cannot believe the dramatic change in demographic not just because the german bank said it was one of the 10 best places to live in the world but because it is. How long do you think that the newcomers will care about our indigenous lol there best times may be behind them for aide. Maybe we should channel the money we send you to them


  11. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger May 21, 2017 at 7:28 PM #

    Since when did stealing start being the right thing to do in the 1500-1800s ……Lawson.

    I dont get a dime outside of Canadian money I earn. I bet if ya ask the average bajan in Barbados they will tell you they never personally received a dime in Canadian aid so dont flatter yourself.

    Ya better start packing for when the tables turn


  12. lawson May 21, 2017 at 7:55 PM #

    Ha you dont land at that airport …..thank mcgill university and trumps ilk for that, there are a few different programs in place that are available whether you use them or not and who if not drunken canadians were tucking those one dollar bills into your beach wear at harrys years ago that is kinda of aid n’est-ce pas


  13. Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 8:48 PM #

    I support Boots Cummins’s point on the role of the invigilator.I have done some invigilating myself and there was always a senior in charge of the ‘situation’ and to whom one might refer any unusual events arising.


  14. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger May 22, 2017 at 9:04 AM #

    Lawson…who is Harry, is he your father, son or daughter.

    Stop rat racing children.

    “Parents wondering whether to wait a year to send their kids to kindergarten, take note: A new study from Stanford University shows that Danish kids who postponed kindergarten for up to one year showed dramatically higher levels of self-control.

    “We found that delaying kindergarten for one year reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73% for an average child at age 11,” Thomas Dee, one of the co-authors and a Stanford Graduate School of Education professor, said in a release.

    Dee did his research with Hans Henrik Sievertsen of the Danish National Centre for Social Research, who told Quartz that the impact was strong and lasted a long time: “We were a bit surprised at how persistent the effect was.” The effect of delaying school on hyperactivity and inattention didn’t diminish over time, as they expected, but increased: in fact, waiting one year virtually eliminated the chance that an average kid at age 11 would have higher-than-normal scores on those measures.
    Inattention and hyperactivity—the traits of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)—weaken a child’s self-control, and prior research shows that self-control levels in childhood are linked to achievement (recall the marshmallow test). In the Stanford study, kids with lower inattention and hyperactivity ratings had higher school assessment scores.

    Countries like Finland and Germany already start school relatively late. Kids do not seem to fare worse later in life for the lost time, otherwise known as childhood: Finland scores well in international tests of 15-year-olds.

    American kids used to start kindergarten at five years old. Today, about 20% of US kindergarteners are six, according to the study. While some of the change is due to moving forward birthday cut-off dates, much of it can be attributed to “red-shirting,” or parents holding kids back to give them a leg up. (Older kids are more able, and being more able makes them more confident, which then reinforces itself—or so the theory goes.) Wealthier parents and those of boys are most likely to do this, the study says.

    The study was published by the National Bureau of Research last month. Starting kindergarten later has not been directly proven to improve test scores, so the researchers focused their research on mental health instead.

    They used the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), a recent and large-scale survey of Danish children which includes data for children at age 7 and 11 from a widely used and validated mental-health screening tool (54,241 parents responded to the parent-reported mental health survey for 7 year olds; 35,902 responded when the children were about 11 years old).

    In Denmark, children are supposed to enter school in the calendar year in which they turn six. The researchers used census and education ministry data to look at children who were born just before and after the cut-off date to study the effects of age (when you are six, a difference of six-to-eight months is huge).

    The study has limitations. Kids who delay kindergarten in Denmark have universal access to reasonably good pre-kindergarten, something woefully lacking in the US. If families don’t have access to that, they may benefit from having their children start kindergarten earlier.
    One interesting hypothesis is posed: did attending school later allow kids more time to develop through unstructured play? Developmental psychology research emphasizes the importance of imaginative play in aiding children’s emotional and intellectual self-regulation. “Children who delay their school starting age may have an extended (and appropriately timed) exposure to such playful environments,” the study noted. Party time, kids”


  15. William Skinner May 22, 2017 at 9:18 AM #

    @ Hal
    Don’t expect too much. We still talking about
    the 3 Rs and flogging.


  16. Hal Austin May 22, 2017 at 9:24 AM #

    We have school buildings that are empty from about 3pm on weekdays and at weekends, we have teachers who would like some part-time work, retired teachers and maths students who would like to make some money, so what is stopping us from offering classes free to the public, especially the unemployed, in English, maths and ICT? It is not rocket science.


  17. David May 22, 2017 at 9:32 AM #


    Yours is a practical suggestion but for the authority to implement it would disrupt the ‘lessons’ activity where many feed at the trough.


  18. William Skinner May 22, 2017 at 10:01 AM #

    @ Hal
    Maurice Bishop and the Peoples Revolutionary Government had a community literacy program in place a short time after taking over the government. We don’t have that spirit here. We are occupied with more important things such as which party hacks will get headmasterships and promotions after or when the government changes. We are not interested in such mundane things as connecting the UWI and schools to the community in any progressive manner. Once a year we parade the top achievers both primary and secondary and forget the rest until we want their vote.
    Community education programs we way too big up for such nonsense.


  19. Hal Austin May 22, 2017 at 10:24 AM #


    True. Even so we still do not know how each secondary school performs in the relevant exams. That is important because parents and children want to know the quality of their schools.


  20. David May 22, 2017 at 10:25 AM #

    Was it written somewhere that Fidel Castro of Cuba directed that students delay sitting A level exams in order to assist the tuition of the general population? If true this is what leadership is about him being a devoted communist duly noted.


  21. lawson May 22, 2017 at 10:27 AM #

    Hal good idea but it could never work, can you imagine if adults took full use of your idea and actually became smarter than their teenage children, there would be total chaos. Your suicide rate would jump dramatically what heresy parents knowing more than there kids.


  22. Hal Austin May 22, 2017 at 10:51 AM #

    May do a lot for the birth rate.


  23. Hal Austin May 22, 2017 at 10:56 AM #

    Nowhere in the distorted debate about free education in Barbados is there any acknowledgement of the implicit purpose of the policy – the raising of the overall level of education. Not the fake nonsense of 98 per cent literacy, but an education fit for a modern nation.
    The lawyer class was meant to provide legal representation to the masses, instead they are the biggest robbers of poor people; constitutional independence was meant to give business/economic power to the traditional white community and political power to the blacks. What we have is that the whites have lost their businesses to the Trinidadians and the blacks have mis-used political power – until the Muslims take over.


  24. David May 22, 2017 at 11:05 AM #


    The link provided informs how the establishment views the relevance of the education system in Barbados.


  25. William Skinner May 22, 2017 at 11:28 AM #

    @ Hal
    ” Even so we still do not know how each secondary school performs in the relevant exams. That is important because parents and children want to know the quality of their schools.”

    There are dozens of parents who do not know that their children sit the Common Entrance without any chance of passing any exam but their parents are fooled.Its all about manipulating statistics.
    Our education system is bordering on scandalous but the wider society is oblivious to what really happens.


  26. David May 22, 2017 at 11:37 AM #

    Here is what we know:

    The students that attend or are allocated to St.George, St.Lucy, Grantley Adams and a few others receive children that scored 5 to 20 marks. Do the extrapolation from admission to ‘graduation’.


  27. Hal Austin August 2, 2017 at 7:54 AM #

    At a time when we should be upping our game, especially in STEM subjects, UWI has launched a centre for reparation research. Boy, a nation of crazy people.


  28. Simple Simon August 2, 2017 at 8:12 AM #

    @Hal Austin May 21, 2017 at 3:11 PM “Fiddling is right. We are a bit behind the rest of the world. I have said before, in the UK the government pays for all citizens to study English and maths to GCE level. Yo will b surprised the number of people who do not take advantage of this.”

    Dear Hal: Have you taken advantage of this?

    The Barbados taxpayers also pays for all children to study English and Maths to CXC level, but as in the U.K you would be surprised at the number of people you don’t/can’t/won’t take advantage of this.


  29. Hal Austin August 2, 2017 at 8:27 AM #

    Simple Simon,
    You are being simple. I am talking of all people, up to the grave, not just schoolchildren. Do people in prison have an education programme?
    By the way, I am not just illiterate, but also innumerate.


  30. Bush Tea August 2, 2017 at 8:33 AM #

    @ Hal
    By the way, I am not just illiterate, but also innumerate.
    ….and, if Bushie may be of any assistance…. you are also silly and petty.

    Glad to be of help.


  31. Hal Austin August 2, 2017 at 9:07 AM #

    Thanks for your contribution. Pot and kettle…..I replied to a question put to me. Is that petty and silly? Looks as if you got more out of St Giles than I did.


  32. Bush Tea August 2, 2017 at 9:49 AM #

    “De nada”, Hal muh boy….


  33. Ping Pong August 2, 2017 at 11:29 AM #

    Maybe this is what is missing in our schools and in the wider Barbados population. Grit.


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