The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – An Uncommon Entrance

Jeff Cumberbatch – Chairman of the FTC and Deputy Dean, Law Faculty, UWI, Cave Hill

Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out”. Anonymous

The fact that it still exists as the principal mode of transferring pupils from the primary to the secondary stage of education nearly fifty years since I myself sat it in 1968 and despite the numerous strictures levelled against it through the decades, is a clear indication not only of the Barbadian cultural aversion to change but also of the fact that the suggested replacements are not that cogent to the controllers.

Of course, that is not to say that there have not been some minor adjustments. The entire process has, for instance, taken on a much more humanizing patina. The screening (screaming) test or Part One that weeded out some of the weaker students has gone, and with it the notion that to “pass” the examination meant the pupil had to succeed in gaining entry into one of what are now called the older secondary schools only. And it is now rather impressively titled the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (BSSEE). These days, there is one examination comprising English Language, Mathematics and Composition and a child passes so long as he or she is placed in a secondary school.

From all accounts, based on the hearsay evidence that I have acquired over the years, the current process is itself a vast improvement on its predecessor where, I have been told, it was possible to pass the examination but to fail the “interview” that sought to place the pupil into a certain social category by taking into account patently irrelevant considerations such as the family’s sleeping and bathing arrangements, to put it euphemistically.

Since I am of a later vintage, I cannot confirm the accuracy of this method of selection, but from what I have read of the Barbados of that era, it is not at all improbable. Indeed, in the community where I grew up, I learnt of some unfortunate souls who had fallen victim to this officially condoned system of apartness.

It may be the fear of a return to this sorry state of affairs that accounts mainly for the modern official intransigence to reform the system and to adopt any alternative that might be less objective than a closed-book examination for which the pupil has been prepared for at least two years.

The plain truth that everyone is seemingly reluctant to accept, in spite of the evidence, is that it does not really matter in the long run which school one passes for. In other words, there is no necessary linear relation between one’s secondary school and his or her future prospects or earning capacity. This is of course a hard sell, given the acclaim accorded by officialdom and the local media to the results of this examination. It is at least peculiar that the results of an examination in English and basic Mathematics sat by eleven year olds should command as much press coverage and their public declaration by the Minister with responsibility for Education himself. There is even a top ten as if it were some competition rather than simply a process for graduation to secondary school. And this bespeaks nothing of those parents who congregate outside the examination centres to gain a first hand account from the child of the easiness or hardness of the papers.

However, there are more than a few well-known individuals that would have “failed” this examination and yet would have risen to great heights in their respective chosen vocations while there are some less well-known nationally who have become “superannuated” somewhere in the “good” school a mere three or four years after their crowning achievement.

None of this has had any impact on the popular perception of the importance of the examination and each year there will be press coverage of some child who, despite the odds, managed to pass for the school of his or her choice. And of those who, in spite of crushed hopes in their time, went on to achieve success in one of the traditional professions or trades or went abroad and excelled in academia. All of which might be instructive, if only we are willing to take note.

Sometimes, the narrative becomes bizarre. I read this weekend in another section of the press of one pupil who was hugely disappointed that she had passed for Harrison College instead of Christ Church Foundation that is nearer to her home. Of course, depending on the reader’s alma mater, this reaction might or might not be thought odd, but it may supply nevertheless a teaching moment for our education officials as to another mode of transfer to secondary education that might be considered, that is, according to the secondary school that is nearest to one’s home.

I feel certain that this proposal is not original, though it seems never to have been given serious consideration. This is unsurprising given the probable catchment areas of Harrison College, the old Queens College and of St Michael School, but it is worthy of a rethink, especially if combined with some regard still being paid to the marks achieved in the examination.

Not only would this serve to confirm the often made but only partially true assertion that all secondary schools are the same but it would also afford the child the opportunity to a wider range of intellects and personalities, much as it is in the world that he or she will inhabit at university and in adult life.

It should not be thought that this partial zoning is the only alternative possible. Other suggestions such as that of transferring children to secondary school at fourteen years of age since there is no magic to the attainment of one’s eleventh birthday and the notion of specialty secondary schools are worthy of s deeper consideration. Perhaps the mode of continuous assessment is too subjective to be a priority in a society that hews towards egalitarianism, but the matter should be subjected to public debate and conversation.

Once we believe that we may be able to effect a more equitable method of transfer from primary to secondary school, we should not let the discrimination of the previous system cause us to believe that what we have now is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.

Tags: , ,

59 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – An Uncommon Entrance”

  1. Readydone June 11, 2017 at 6:46 AM #

    the problem is not the 11 plus. the first problem is that if I get 2% in the 11 plus and you get 98% in the 11 plus the both of us getting the same syllabus next term.

    Like

  2. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 6:51 AM #

    Zoning works best, relieve the pressure on parents to provide transportation for long distance travel for their children to school and on taxpayers for paying for transportation for all kids to go to school.

    The commonsense thing to do would be to upgrade all schools re funding to include curricula that match the kids skills set, introduce assessments to identify those skill sets and adequate secondary education that would springboard the students for their future ambitions.

    Just providing an education environment for students to be digesting and regurgitatating information, most of it useless, is being phased out in developed and advanced countries, including UK which gave Barbados and the Caribbean 11+…….it is counterproductive.

    Like

  3. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 6:57 AM #

    Jeff…in the nonissue re Mia’s lack of an LEC is being questioned by those desperately trying to find a criminal act……could this have been the reason and in my opinion, a noncriminal reason some lawyers were exempted by the powers of the day, to practice without the LEC.

    I realize some are not aware that you can be the holder of a law degree, be a lawyer and not actively practice law.

    If Mia and the other lawyers with UK accreditation had their Temple Inn creditials GRANDFATHERED from 1987 to 1984 by the powers that be in Barbados at that time, the date they would have been allowed the privilege of practicing law without a local degree, I imagine not only the then attorney general, but also several legislators of those times would have as one unit, made the decision to extend to Mia and other lawyers from Temple Inn, that courtesy….they made the laws and rules at the time….they could do it.

    I would also imagine that the same legislators who changed the requirements that an LEC was mandatory are the same legislators made the decision to exempt Mia and the other attorneys.

    Like

  4. Vincent Haynes June 11, 2017 at 7:14 AM #

    Lets think outside the box and look at how things have worked in other countries.e.g. Finland who was in the same predicament as us and made a quantum shift……lets critique it objectively as opposed to trying to look for….home grown solutions……like our MoF.

    Like

  5. Hal Austin June 11, 2017 at 7:16 AM #

    There is nothing wrong with the 11+. What is needed is a safety net for those who are late starters. We also need a system to fast track talented children; for example, a nine year old may be good at maths, why then should s/he be held back by the slowest in the class when s/he could be taken out of his/her regular class and given special maths lessons.
    I repeat again, this is not re-inventing the wheel. It is what J.O.Morris did at St Giles in the 1950s.
    There is a lot wrong with our educational system, but the 11+ is not it. We need annul performance reports on all our schools; CXC results should be published in full; I am told by a senior manager from the CXC that the ministry gets full reports. Why don’t they publish?
    We also need to make proper provision for technical education: learn from the Germans.
    The worst thing to happen to secondary education was the invention of the comprehensive school; it is Shirley Williams’ epitaph.
    But it is all new. We used to have the Modern high, Federal, Barbados Academy, and lots more. Where are they now?

    Like

  6. David June 11, 2017 at 7:21 AM #

    Why do many of us expound on the complex issues of education in Barbados with such certainty?

    Like

  7. Hal Austin June 11, 2017 at 7:25 AM #

    David,
    Those who experienced it ie all Barbadians have a right to. It is their future.

    Like

  8. Vincent Haynes June 11, 2017 at 7:33 AM #

    …….one pupil who was hugely disappointed that she had passed for Harrison College instead of Christ Church Foundation that is nearer to her home.

    Perhaps the mode of continuous assessment is too subjective to be a priority in a society that hews towards egalitarianism, but the matter should be subjected to public debate and conversation.
    ………………………………

    ….and a child shall lead them…….

    We need community based schools with continuous assessment……simple

    What is a bit more difficult and where the discussion should be taking place is identifying the curriculum to be used to lead the nation into a bright new future.

    Congrats to the UPP for looking seriously at the Finnish model.

    Like

  9. Bush Tea June 11, 2017 at 7:38 AM #

    @ Jeff
    This is a complex matter.
    The reason why you are correct to say that it does not matter which school anyone goes to, is that to a large extent, all the schools have now fallen to a lowest common denominator, such that six is half dozen.
    This was accomplished by the Ministry of Eddykashun over the years through such policies as rotating Principals and teachers, encouraging shiite standards across all schools – (dress, religions, behaviours, manners), …any and every kinda shiite.

    It only takes a few bad apples to spoil a whole school of good ones – especially if the staff has no power, no enthusiasm, and/or no inclination to deal with the few bad ones…

    The very FACT that that Morris man is still at Combermere, for example, explains how that school would have descended into shiiteville;

    That someone who looks like Jones does; and speaks like Jones does; and acts like Jones does; continued to be minister of eddykashun says it all….

    As it is now, the 11 plus is neither here nor there…. shiite is shiite.
    HOWEVER, it has been one of the best things that has ever been conceptualised in education.

    Even the ‘apartness’ that you described, which essentially sought to ensure that Bushie’s decent twelve year-old son was not exposed continuously to wutless girls from ‘??????” who grew up seeing their mothers selling cat …and even selling their children’ cats every night ….made consulate sense.
    Instead of being an academic success, the bushman would now be a ZR driver…. or a world famous porn star – with his co-star Islandgal by his side – probably both in wheelchairs…. had our current approach existed back then.

    Those person who framed our initial education system were actually FAR more intelligent and forward-thinking than any shiite that we have seen in the last 30 years…..
    There was always room for improvement, but we threw away the baby with the dirty water…

    Like

  10. David June 11, 2017 at 7:42 AM #

    @Bush Tea

    All of us who are close to the schools have concluded for some time there is a crisis of leadership not just at the ministry of education but leading the schools. We can take Combermere has one example where a weak headmaster has allowed a good school to sink.

    Like

  11. Hal Austin June 11, 2017 at 7:46 AM #

    Bush Tea,

    Whatever we do in Barbados we must not allow our educational system to deteriorate to the level of the Brits. The British educational system is a mess. Just look at Theresa May’s proposal to bring back grammar schools and how the oppositionists are screaming.
    The difference with the UK is that we have top-quality schools and universities for future leaders.
    We got comprehensive from them, thankfully not polytechnics. Let us keep it that way.. Look to Germany for technical education, and to France for academic education.

    Like

  12. William Skinner June 11, 2017 at 7:52 AM #

    @ Jeff
    “These days, there is one examination comprising English Language, Mathematics and Composition and a child passes so long as he or she is placed in a secondary school.”
    I am certain that if all the students at UWI were given a “pass’ for just turning up for the exam ,it would not be acceptable. We need to define “pass” as against ” placed” in a secondary school.

    @ Hal
    The Examination and its elitist structure has done more damage to our society than we care to admit. Any system that throws several hundred of our children under the bus at age eleven cannot be in the interest of the society.

    The column is in concord with all the arguments that I have heard for the exam in the last forty years. They are just as weak in that they assume that all schools are equal; that all children taking the exam have a good chance of “making something” of themselves; and at it its fundamentals dismisses the fact that the exam is elitist in structure.

    Like

  13. Caswell Franklyn June 11, 2017 at 7:55 AM #

    In today’s Barbados it does not matter which school the child attends there is one certainty; a wide assortment of paedophiles awaits them.

    A serial child rapist was transferred from a St. Michael’s school to the ministry to protect the little girls. At a Christ Church school a teacher got one of his students pregnant, he is currently suspended with pay presumably until it blows over. At a St. James school a serial rapists teacher was finally compulsorily retired for in appropriate conduct with a 14 year old child.

    There are many more molesters all over the place, many of whom are known to the Ministry of Education and the teachers’ unions, that continue to practice their depravity with authorities turning a blind eye.

    Like

  14. Hal Austin June 11, 2017 at 7:58 AM #

    William,

    Precisely. That is why I have called for a safety net for late starters and non-academic children.

    Like

  15. angela Skeete June 11, 2017 at 8:18 AM #

    Maybe in the sixities and early seventies i would agree that sending a child to any one of designated schools did not matter, But not so in today’s society the academia being presented in schools today having much to do with teachings skills and lack of discipline
    and union intervention would make a parent think long and hard as to which school is better equipped and prepared to teach the child
    Take Parkinson as an example a school back in the sixties which had some of the best teachers and was able to send out many students who have accomplished much at great heights , Today many parents would indeed and rightfully so resent having to send their child to Parkinson because all the right ingredients which helped to form and make the student are missing or have been taken away leaving Parkinson an empty shell sticking out like a sore thumb and an afterthought in the minds of many parents who would want the best for their child.
    One might wish to pretend that any child in this society can indeed learn in any environment but there might be a few which can make the grade .However the school environment and the academic role it plays in the child life must be able to meet and be attractive enough to sustained and fulfilled the academic requirement of all the students preparing them for life joutney in this global world

    Like

  16. William Skinner June 11, 2017 at 8:19 AM #

    @ Caswell

    Every time there is a discussion about education you try to paint many teachers as perverts. As a concerned citizen who seems to have all the information, why don’t you tell us of your efforts to assist with getting rid of all these perverts. In your words: “wide assortment of paedophiles..”

    Like

  17. Ping Pong June 11, 2017 at 8:25 AM #

    Steups. Now that my children have nearly finished their secondary schooling, I will as an unvarnished hypocrite now propose (better yet insist) that the Government randomly assign students to schools without regard to parental preference. Further I will assert that ALL that is needed to ensure that every child in Barbados grows up to be a success is to abolish the BSSEE.

    Like

  18. Ping Pong June 11, 2017 at 8:32 AM #

    @ Angela Skeete
    How long does it take to get the “right ingredients” at a school. Presumably more than eight years.

    Like

  19. Hal Austin June 11, 2017 at 8:36 AM #

    Williams,

    Some people make a cheap shot by talking about poor management of secondary schools, when heads are controlled by people in cheap suits in Bay Street.
    More important are the allegations made by Caswell. They are not just Bajan issues, as some people may think, but global. In the UK there is the feminisation of teaching, to the extent that any male who wants to teach in a primary school is suspected of being a paedophile immediately. This is slowly also happening in Secondary schools.
    But it is also happening in all professions and cultures. Even Saudi Arabia, the most male-focused of cultures, there is now a university of technology for women, women are allowed in the air force and women can now drive.
    It sties in with what Vincent has suggested: continuous assessments. And that is part of the problem, to some, and change, to others.
    Females do better with modular education while males do better with tests. This may explain why more females go to university in the UK than males.
    In 2010, I gave a speech at a Commonwealth Secretariat conference in Barbados on women in finance, in which I talked about the changes in education. It is worth reading that speech.
    These are changes we get in families, same parents, same influences, but the girls do better than the boys. I have also warned that the boys are not going to walk away with their tails between their legs admitting to failure. They are going to rebel.
    So it may be a blanket of comfort to pretend that every little thing that takes place in Barbados is unique; that is not so. We live in a changing world of which Barbados is but part.

    Like

  20. Bush Tea June 11, 2017 at 8:38 AM #

    The Examination and its elitist structure has done more damage to our society than we care to admit.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Lotta shiite….!!

    What was elitist was all the other alternatives where, what we had before (and everyone knows what would come after) would be based on social and political ‘connections’.

    The exam is based on academic development. and the results have been generally accurate.
    What better way to measure academic achievement?

    Hal is also misguided in his talk about “safety net’ and ‘late starters’….
    More shiite…

    Just as the 11 plus identifies the academically talented, we NEED to implement additional 11+ -like exams to identify the technically talented; the artistically talented; the musically talented; the sports talented; …even the politically talented….. and to configure our schools accordingly.
    late starters shiite!!

    With few notable exceptions (and we do have angela, CCC and Vincent among us 🙂 ) almost everyone have their special talent that can be identified, enhanced, and maximised. What we lack is the vision and leadership to understand these concepts …and to actualise them.

    Like

  21. TheGazer June 11, 2017 at 8:50 AM #

    I saw a note where a parent was complaining about the cost of books.

    Are we making use of what is readily and freely available due to advances in technology? Or are we sending home a book-list like we did 50 years in the past?

    I have a son completing high school and I have been able to find good sites on various math topics. In addition, not only does he have a paper book, but the school has provided him with an e-book as well. Are schools and teachers suggesting the use of e-books where possible? Are they doing the necessary homework so that parents and children are offered books at the cheapest price?

    There is nothing cheaper than free. A resourceful teacher can provide a student with a list of links (via their email) and thus save parents the cost of buying any science or mathematics book. There are some books that one can access from the internet (free of cost) and even download. A school sending home a book-list and not utilizing these resources is making parents spend money needlessly. We may not reduce the cost to zero, but we can cut the cost considerably. Much of this information can be downloaded to a .pdf file and have the student copy that file (at a very small cost, if the school wants to make a buck)

    A word or warning: and teachers should thoroughly research the links and websites before sending students or parents to them – call it summer research.

    Let’s try to pick some low hanging fruits.

    Like

  22. Justin Jarrette June 11, 2017 at 8:53 AM #

    Same problem more or less here in Trinidad. Common Entrance was renamed Secondary Entrance Exam (SEA) 15 years ago but it hasn’t fully changed from what it used to be.

    Like

  23. Andrew Simpson June 11, 2017 at 8:53 AM #

    We have so much to learn from others. Just like with our governance model, we must learn to let go of the past, have the faith to try new things that allows society to evolve, naturally and spiritually in our education sector. Every child is different, but each must be taught the importance of individual responsibility and given opportunity to discover purpose and develop talents. Tests and exams should be the means to an end, not the end of means for many. Educators should be allowed to determine how best to educate and train; health specialists be involved in formulating healthcare policy and so on.
    A TEAM of qualified professionals, to effectively manage our islands’ natural, social and economic environments must be assembled, in tandem with direct participatory engagement of citizens and various interest groups, to enable more efficient sectoral management. Geographical representation can be better achieved through the formation of a single “constituency empowerment department” functioning within a high tech, ICT platform that links peoples needs with service providers. The high price paid for political candidates, electoral distractions and otherwise wasted Human Resources might be eliminated if only our thinkers would unite to design a compelling solution.

    Like

  24. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 9:07 AM #

    William…is that not what the authorities are paid to do, rid the island of pedophiles and rapists…from the known ones in parliament, in the schools, in the churches to the man in the streets….it has become a culture over the decades that must be eradicated..

    ….. ..that is not Caswell’s job…..the attorney general et al are being paid a monthly salary to set up sex offender’s registriss to identify pedophiles and rapists so the whole island would know who they are and prptect themselves and their children against these monsters….set more severe sentencing guideline…..if Dominca could do it, so could Barbados.

    The authorities are paid a monthly salary to fix the judiciary and cut down on the rape cases by expediting them in a timely manner.

    Like

  25. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 9:10 AM #

    For thise who are unware, in more advanced societies, pedophiles are outcasts and once registered and identified as sex offender, they are removed to either little sex offender villages, isolated and away from temptation, or monitored by their neighborhoods and police daily.

    Like

  26. Chad99999 June 11, 2017 at 9:11 AM #

    It is hard for a society to make progress if the “All uh we is one” mentality of the William Skinners takes hold.

    So the different aptitudes of students should be identified and acted on. To exclude a dunce from Harrison College is not to “throw him under the bus”. It is to recognize that we have very limited resources, and that our two or three centres of excellence should be reserved for those who can best take advantage of them.

    Of course, Jeff is wrong about nearly everything, and assigning students to schools on the basis of geographic proximity is a dreadful idea for a tiny island. So is the notion that it is “irrelevant” to consider the sleeping and bathing arrangements of families when schools vet prospective enrollees. Germs can kill, and I have always been astounded by those who expect a parent to quietly accept the risk of exposing their children to bottom-dwellers.

    Standards should matter. Down with democracy.

    Like

  27. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 9:13 AM #

    Well Chadster…there ya are.lol

    Like

  28. TheGazer June 11, 2017 at 9:31 AM #

    Are these secondary schools producing what is needed for Barbados in the future?
    Are we still locked into producing doctors, lawyers and a few engineers.
    This was the Barbados of 1967, but are we now producing computer/IT specialists?
    Can we develop call centers with ‘experts/specialists’ as India has done?

    It’s more than replacing/rescheduling an exam. Putting bigger tyres on a car does not fix the engine.
    We need to sit down and map out some objectives/goals for our educational system and then work towards implementing them. Tinkering here and there solves nothing.

    Like

  29. Caswell Franklyn June 11, 2017 at 9:32 AM #

    William

    What more do you want of me? I had a meeting with the then PS in Education where I drew to her attention that a part time teacher at Foundation was caught in the act with a student. The results are as follows:

    The child was transferred to Harrison College;
    The teacher went on sick leave and has been subsequently given full time status; and
    When the mother was called to the school and notified, she fainted.

    That is apparently a win-win in the eyes of the Ministry of Education.

    Just recently at a staff meeting the principal announced that HE went to the ministry and someone said to HIM that instead of running HIS school, he is in the office having sex with Mr. Martindale.

    William, the ministry knows about and condones the perversion in schools. So I repeat, what would you have me do? None of the children were even remotely related to me.

    It seems as though dear William that you are one of those who does not like the inconvenient truth. But this one might bother you greatly: A male principal paid a family a substantial settlement to avoid being prosecuted for molesting a boy. Thankfully, he is no longer in the system.

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  30. William Skinner June 11, 2017 at 9:37 AM #

    @ Bush Tea
    “Just as the 11 plus identifies the academically talented, we NEED to implement additional 11+ -like exams to identify the technically talented; the artistically talented; the musically talented; the sports talented; …even the politically talented….. and to configure our schools accordingly. ”

    Read your statement above and you will realise that you are confirming it is an elitist system because it excludes all those groups you mentioned. In other words we have determined that emphasis will be placed on the children who do well academically and that they will be sent to the better schools. That excludes children who have other skills. That is why it is elitist. Elitism is identifying one group and declaring it superior to others.

    Like

  31. William Skinner June 11, 2017 at 9:42 AM #

    @ Hal
    I believe that he we are quite unfair to the teaching profession. That is why we cannot move forward -too many intellectual red herrings and outright misinformation have found their way into national discourse. As you said these problems are not unique to our country but those who know better are constantly destroying public discourse for one reason or another.

    Like

  32. lawson June 11, 2017 at 9:42 AM #

    what are you saying WW get the pedophiles, homosexuals and rapists out of the school system and that uncommon entrance thing will go away

    Like

  33. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 9:46 AM #

    Jeff…..after all the stupidity from the yardfowls…we finally have something to work with. Just as I thought,legislation was GRANDFATHERED…, grandfathering legislation is not illegal, in my view Mia committed no crime, legislation was grandfatheres to allow Justice Gibson to become Chief Justice…, by the same fools in parliament now complaining about Mia’s 1984 exemption.

    I swear ya cant make none of this up…lol

    I already gave my thoughts on this on the other link.

    “Carson C. Cadogan June 11, 2017 at 9:22 AM #
    TAKEN FROM FACEBOOK

    “The matter of the SI which was drafted and purportedly passed into law in 1984 to permit Ms. Mottley and 3 other to practice law in Barbados WITHOUT a legal certificate is currently engaging the attention of the Chief Justice of Barbados and the Prime Minister.

    I have written to the CJ in respect of the de jure and de facto position of a judge who was called to practice in Barbados under that same legislation.

    I have discussed the matter at different levels.

    It is not a simple matter. We do have a problem on our hands… The solution lies with parliament.”

    Like

  34. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 9:52 AM #

    No…Lawson…am saying it can be controlled and monitored. ..just like your Homolka…remember her, helped her husband rape and murder some teenage girls including her own little sister, well you know after serving this little bit of time in a Canadian prison, she was allowed to change her name, some fool not only marrued that monster, but she has 2 children and was recently exposed to the public as being a volunteer at a school…and you know Canadians went ballistic over that recently, becayse no one knew it was the monster theur children does not need to be exposed to, fir their own safety..

    She is now being hounded, as she deserves.

    Ah bet you did not know I knew about that one..lol

    Like

  35. lawson June 11, 2017 at 9:59 AM #

    Actually WW Vince Bevan is a friend of mine so I was very well acquainted with the case
    So now you are saying you want to monitor the uncommon entrance??

    Like

  36. Artax June 11, 2017 at 10:12 AM #

    Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 9:46 AM #

    “………….grandfathering legislation is not illegal, in my view Mia committed no crime, legislation was grandfatheres to allow Justice Gibson to become Chief Justice…, by the same fools in parliament now complaining about Mia’s 1984 exemption.”

    @ WW&C

    As I mentioned in a previous contribution, as Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite is the Leader of the Bar of Barbados, Parliament’s and Government’s principal legal advisor and guardian of the public interest.

    In June 2015, Brathwaite said he would commit his office to investigate whether or not Mottley could legitimately practice law in Barbados.

    Brathwaite has continued to REMAIN SILENT on this LEC issue for the past TWO YEARS and Barbadians are yet to HEAR the RESULTS of his investigation. (This reminds me of the investigation into the matter where Sinckler was allegedly told by police officers that two men were planning to assassinate him.)

    As a result, it seems as though the DLP yard-fowl pair Carson C. Cadogan and Angela Cox-Skeete have lost confidence in the Attorney General and decided to mount their own investigation into the issue.

    Like

  37. Vincent Haynes June 11, 2017 at 10:17 AM #

    Chuckle……the proof of the pudding is the eating thereof………none so blind as those who refuse to see…….

    Cuddear…… after 50 years of of independence and we are still following the formula of the colonial masters with a few tweeks here and there and have produced a country of brassbowls that have us in duck guts…..we are still insisting that we continue tweeking an outmoded system.

    What is wrong with wunna Bimmers….think…..how did we get here…..its only obvious that our system has failed……why are we so hardears that we insist like the MoF in repeating one thing many times over and expect a different result???

    ……but…..we like it so…..wukkup cyan dunn.

    Like

  38. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 10:22 AM #

    http://bit.ly/2sQGnhk

    Art…check the dates in that link and see who was prime minister, which party was in power in 1987 whem Mia graduated and certified with Temple Inn.., and was then given the exemption through legislation in parliament…that is why Adriel Nitwit cahn say nutting.

    Carson is on the Commissiong link breaking his neck to explain it away..

    Wicked yardfowls.

    Like

  39. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 10:24 AM #

    Just the pedophiles Lawson and ya boyfriend if he goes visiting.

    Like

  40. lawson June 11, 2017 at 10:24 AM #

    WW not surprised that you know about homolka she married one of your ilk and moved to the carribean soon after release because islanders are more accepting of what she was in trouble for …Canadians were too hard on her but she eventually wanted back.

    Like

  41. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 10:32 AM #

    Vincent…and buying the same Mercedes every 4 years for every government department wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer’s money, although Fruendel advertised….to the world.., that all they do is break down. .

    Ah heard Simpson is pissed at Fruendel for exposing his scam…ah mean, it’s the governments neglected their due diligence in not researching and utilizing more road worthy vehicles, but someone had to take the blame for that government cockup…lol….and Simpson Motors was so handy…he could not blame the taxpayers…he has them all suffering..

    Now tell me that there is not something seriously wrong with these politicians and ministers and their low intellect…despite all of them or most, taking 11+ and being degree holders.

    Like

  42. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 10:37 AM #

    Lawson…ah heard, which island was she living in.

    Are you sure that is why Homolka ran back to Canada…or is it because she realized that post slavery sodomy, rape and pedophilia still exists in the Caribbean because of her ancestors and her children were at risk, while she herself monster thst she is will be more likely to become a rape victim….than a predator…I think those are real the reasons.

    Like

  43. millertheanunnaki June 11, 2017 at 10:41 AM #

    @ Chad99999June 11, 2017 at 9:11 AM
    “It is hard for a society to make progress if the “All uh we is one” mentality of the William Skinners takes hold.
    So the different aptitudes of students should be identified and acted on. To exclude a dunce from Harrison College is not to “throw him under the bus”. It is to recognize that we have very limited resources, and that our two or three centres of excellence should be reserved for those who can best take advantage of them.
    Of course, Jeff is wrong about nearly everything, and assigning students to schools on the basis of geographic proximity is a dreadful idea for a tiny island. So is the notion that it is “irrelevant” to consider the sleeping and bathing arrangements of families when schools vet prospective enrollees. Germs can kill, and I have always been astounded by those who expect a parent to quietly accept the risk of exposing their children to bottom-dwellers.”

    If only such “standards” could be copied and enforced right across the entire social spectrum what a pure ‘society’ of Aryan-molded stock Barbados would become!
    Why not exclude the same poor and unwashed from the churches who make up the bulk of financial donors?

    Why not reject the applications of the same “bottom-dwellers to join the army to be the foot soldiers to protect the wealthy elite and middle-class parasites?

    Since whites generally perceived blacks as criminal, violent, hygienically filthy and smelly why not apply the same set of apartheid standards and recommend that blacks be kept apart from whites and other races to avoid cross-contamination as prevailed in the good ole days of Halcyon Barbados?

    After all, your god that made the whites and pseudo-elite blacks also made the poor and unwashed with each knowing their ordained station in life, right Chaddie the 9×5 fascist?

    “All things bright and beautiful……,

    The rich man in his castle,
    The poor man at his gate,
    God made them high and lowly,
    And ordered their estate.”

    Like

  44. de pedantic Dribbler June 11, 2017 at 11:11 AM #

    Mr Blogmaster at 7:21 AM …Is it really with certainty.

    It is exceedingly hard for me to properly follow the zero-sum nature of the arguments. Of course there are improvements that can be implemented to BSSEE but how can the fundamental moot as posed by Jeff and further enunciated by @Hal, Bushie and others NOT be accurate.

    @Vincent, I am not familiar with the Finns’ system but how dramatically different can any successful educational merit system be that is not: “… based on academic development” or …”[the] NEED to … to identify the technically talented; the artistically talented; the musically talented; the sports talented; …. and to configure our schools accordingly.”

    Accordingly how can one NOT accept that there are “late starters” and that some form of operationally “safety net’ is needed.

    This cannot be a zero-sum game yet every debate over these many years adopts that attitude.

    Often as one reads the discourses it becomes as ironic as the title of that old US movie ‘Back to the Future’: There is much practical good which evolved from the old ‘screaming’ test process and built stars for the future even as it became quite pellucid that changes were needed.

    To the future we aim but yes there are solid samples that can be used from the past. Will we ever hit 88 mph and move to super success (inside joke for fans of the movie, LOL)

    Incidentally I am just a few years behind the Dean but I recall vividly that I had a similar sentiment to the student he profiled. I for example did not want to go to Lodge because of the stories of their coffin initiation and had other trepidation re other places so was quite keen on the school that was in my walking distance. I wanted that as my #1 choice. No regrets.

    Nothing strange about that.

    And @William for all the claims of elitism..what fresh and practical system would you offer to get students ready towards a path of future country development? How can we NOT have some type of elitism or rank order processing… is that not as natural as lions as king of the jungle and tigers labelled as king of the best and all the Adam Smith, Maslow et al life verbiage that engenders.

    The following excerpts were once attributed to Bill Gates. He is not the author….nonetheless the basic home-truths [with my edits] resonate sensibly.

    Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. …

    Rule No. 2: The real world won’t care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It’ll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain that it’s not fair. (See Rule No. 1)

    Rule No. 3: Sorry, you won’t make $40,000 a year right out of high school. …

    Rule No. 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait ’til you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he’s not going to ask you how you feel about it.

    Rule No. 5: Flipping burgers [or being a janitor] is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren’t embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around [watching stupid videos of Kim and RiRi all day].

    Rule No. 6: It’s not your parents’ fault [NOR society’s]. If you screw up, you are responsible. …

    Rule No. 7: Before you were born your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

    AND THE STAR HERE…

    Rule No. 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn’t. In some schools, they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone’s feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in REAL LIFE. (See Rule No. 1, Rule No. 2 and Rule No. 4.)
    ….

    Rule No. 11: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

    Like

  45. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 11:15 AM #

    Then the Chadster will also be committed to a camp for unwashed filthy blacks.

    No es bueno..lol

    Like

  46. David June 11, 2017 at 11:36 AM #

    @Dee Word

    Are we satisfied as a country that the enormous budget allocated to education is yielding expected results if we map it to the current state of the society? You can use what ever KPIs you prefer.

    N.B: why are some of you doing you level best to divert from the topic of the blog?

    >

    Like

  47. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger June 11, 2017 at 11:47 AM #

    The real question is, how do you get a real government with a progressive ministry of education to understand the necessary changes that must be made for future generations….the current ministers still live in the 1950s…so the education system has nit evolved sufficiently.

    That is the problem.

    Like

  48. Observing June 11, 2017 at 12:03 PM #

    @David
    “why are some of you doing your level best to divert from the topic of the blog”

    Because very few truly appreciate or are willing to admit the complexities and interconnectedness of education with EVERYTHING else. It’s easier to bash teachers, or Jonesey and highlight problems rather than pointing out solutions and accepting blame,

    @Jeff
    “the often made but only partially true assertion that all secondary schools are the same ”

    I submit that this statement is not true at all. All schools are not and were never meant to be the same. Admitting this might give us a starting point for improving the quality of “service” that our schools give to our children.

    @Caswell
    It’s hard to remember any cases where bad apples were convincingly tossed out even though they looked, smelled and tasted rotten. Seems like a continuing culture of tacit enabling on the part of the powers that be.

    Recommendations abound for improving the education system and the structure of its administration. They all remain unimplemented.

    Will the real leaders please stand up?

    Just Observing

    Like

  49. de pedantic Dribbler June 11, 2017 at 12:32 PM #

    @David at 11:36 AM re “Are we satisfied as a country that the enormous budget allocated to education is yielding expected results if we map it to the current state of the society? You can use what ever KPIs you prefer.”——–

    That Mr Blogmaster is a vexing question. Based on the entirety of the educational development – particularly the issues of rule of law as noted by Caswell – it seems an easy F.

    But if we practically look at where Bajans have gone, what they have achieved internationally and how the nation has developed generally then the grade is a solid C or even a B-.

    Middling into mediocrity yes, but a great base from which to soar.

    You may recall that my introduction to this blog was a piece on Education…purely as a parent, not a professional in the field. That piece focused on specialized schools and the need for a greater emphasis for that in Bdos.

    Realistically that he is exactly the ethos and intent of Bajan educational professionals but they are loathe to set it out so bluntly because of the harsh rhetoric of the Skinner progressives. Same thing in US, Canada, UK et al. There is a harsh push back to standardized testing- as we all know- and many still cry classism and elitism re special schools for the best and brightest.

    But how will we continue to develop in this world of science and Moore’s Law growth unless we get the inquisitive minds of inventors like Elon Musk or the active brains of people like former surgeon Dr Ben Carson fast tracked as early as possible to better harness their skill and academic ability.

    That is not elitist. That is PRACTICAL.

    So has our Bajan money been properly spent? I go with a C- grade.

    As noted anecdotally above, life is not fair. Some of us have big heads with brain, some have big hands and sinewy muscles along with dexterity and super skill. Just as some may have both and some neither.

    We can rationally cater to all of them. We have too. We are to small to continue this C- wastage!

    Like

  50. Vincent Haynes June 11, 2017 at 12:59 PM #

    dpD

    I have posted a video on Finland’s change to a more savvy educational system for the new world and asked for a critique………I am at a loss as to your statement as to your inability to comment on it.

    Possibly the answer lies in the fact that you and all the other commenters here,are wedded to the known and are xenophobic dealing with the unknown.

    There is a certain myopia that clouds the thinking of most Bimmers…..I will continue to try against the odds.

    Like

  51. Kevin June 11, 2017 at 1:01 PM #

    It CAN matter where you go to school. I say can because they level of work can be more advanced in older schools than newer ones and there is a more competitive environment at older schools as well. But at the same time I’ve met students at Uni from many other newer sec schools even though they were the minority, they were there. In many cases, its not the students, its where the parents wants their kids too go. Many place addresses where other family members live but not them nor their kids, so as to get into a ‘desirable’ zone. But I agree with many on here that its not where you go, its what you do when you get there. And a lil advice for those who want to transferred into older sec schools, they should get into the track and field athletic program. Its very easy to transfer once your a good athlete. The coaches and principals will make it easy for you. They will deny it but I know what I’m talking of.

    Like

  52. David June 11, 2017 at 1:09 PM #

    @Dee Word

    Like this comment, a lot.

    We perennially bray about teachers, schools, ministry of education and the lot especially at this time of the year. What matters at the end of the day is how are we educating our people to realize their dreams and at the same time fertilise the knowledge pool to reasonably sustain our standard of living. This is the kPI where the rubber meets the road.

    Like

  53. de pedantic Dribbler June 11, 2017 at 2:45 PM #

    @Vincent, I had not viewed the clip when I first posted. But even now that I have sen it not sure I can move way beyond my earlier remark : “how dramatically different can any successful educational merit system be that is not: “… based on academic development” or …”[the] NEED to … to identify the technically talented; the artistically talented; the musically talented; the sports talented; …. and to configure our schools accordingly.”

    What the Finns’ speak to in Moore’s docu encapsulates that ethos completely.

    It speaks to the deficiencies of multiple choice versus long form answers. And we KNOW that!

    It begs the question on why PE and Art/Music programs are removed from US school curricula. Penny wise and pound foolish. Another known, known of best educational practices!

    Vincent, it goes to the core of what can happen in a rather settled almost ‘ethnocentric’ society as compared to a very unsettled, vastly multicultural US.

    Others have said it above that much of the systematic change in education (in US certainly) is driven by corporate policies of money making whether that be on standardized testing and the major cottage industry around that or the other major corporate push of educational choice. This latter labelled in US of course as ‘charter schools’ a public/private hybrid…but known in a different guise in it’s fully private enterprise as ‘private schools’!

    And with all that said note that in US (and Canada and other places too) they do exactly what was depicted in that video also in those expensive private schools. Definitely.

    To every degree this corporatization with charter schools would offer that as a catch, namely that the kids will be taken on a new path blah, blah.

    But did you hear the principal who said “originally these are American ideas’,

    I do not deny or dispute that the Finnish methods make sense, because in most ways that’s what drove the success of the same Kolig, Cawmere, Lodge, St. Michael’s, QC, Alleyne et al: a strong diet of broad-based education, serious extra curricula (scouts, cadets guiding, 4H etc), pathways for excellent after-school basic fun and sports with all that leading to strong student development.

    How many multi-choice exams did YOU do at school. LOLL.

    Thus respectfully I go back to that movie title again ‘Back to the Future’. We have to blend what was with what should be, in order to get a great model of what must be!

    BACK TO THE FUTURE, Vincent. Back…to the Future!

    Like

  54. Vincent Haynes June 11, 2017 at 5:54 PM #

    de pedantic Dribbler June 11, 2017 at 2:45 PM #

    Fortunately for me my initial grounding was under the Dutch system in 50’s which has an uncanny resemblance to the present Finnish system.

    Thanks for taking time to look at it.

    Like

  55. Sargeant June 11, 2017 at 7:46 PM #

    @Miller

    Why are you wasting your time responding to Chad? We know that “Chad” worships at the same altar as the great germaphobe tweeting from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, but the old people always said that scornful people eat a lot of la merde if you get my French. Chad no doubt sees himself as one of “The Talented Tenth” here to educate us negroes.

    However, lest you think you can escape unscathed, didn’t you at some point heap praise on one Redvers Dundonald Dyal who also referred to Bajans as cattle which mirrors what Chad thinks of the great unwashed?

    Like

  56. Bernard Codrington. June 11, 2017 at 8:40 PM #

    Are we not putting a heavier load on the education system than it is designed to bear? The fundamental purpose of education is to prepare each citizen to cope in the society into which he or she is born. On this criterion Barbados’ education system deserves at least a B++. Of course it is not perfect. But can any member of the BU household describe the perfect education system without reference to what it is suppose to produce? Can we really agree on that national objective?

    @ dPd

    You should have braved the initiation process at the Lodge. The probability of your getting into the coffin was .03

    Like

  57. William Skinner June 11, 2017 at 10:26 PM #

    @ depedantic dribbler
    “And @William for all the claims of elitism..what fresh and practical system would you offer to get students ready towards a path of future country development? How can we NOT have some type of elitism or rank order processing… is that not as natural as lions as king of the jungle and tigers labelled as king of the best and all the Adam Smith, Maslow et al life verbiage that engenders.”

    I would recommend continuous assessment. I firmly believe that it will give teachers a better and deeper understanding of their students. Students who are academically gifted will be allowed to move ahead quicker and reach their full potential sooner and students who have academic challenges will be brought up to speed.

    I also believe that all students at primary school should be exposed to; agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture in order to broaden their interests. I see no problem with primary school children spending time on farms, or fishing boats as part of their education. Animal husbandry and similar subjects can be introduced at the primary level. Children at primary school need more concentrated activity in areas such as acting, producing small plays, writing short stories etc. They can be introduced to mechanics, electronics and of course how to use the computer effectively.
    We need to ensure that the Human Resources Department changes focus and that education is primary about job creation and employment . Of course a rigorous environmental studies program is essential.
    By broadening the curricula , there will be more to assess and within fifty years we would have produced a new kind of citizen and a society that easily survive another hundred years in a highly sustainable fashion.

    @ Caswell

    Thanks for sharing your efforts to eradicate the perverts in the school system. Highly appreciated that you are doing your part.

    Like

  58. Tony Trotman June 12, 2017 at 6:32 AM #

    In the 1970s or 80s, a few students did get a second chance to attend an older or newer secondary school (SS). Primary school (PS) students attended a newer SS from fourth form (FF) due to their results in the Barbados School Leaving Certificate. The transfer was arranged between the PS and the newer SS.

    Newer SS students attended an older SS from FF due to their results in end-of-term exams. I got the impression that the transfer was due to the student’s parent “having a word” with the headteacher of the older SS.

    Like

  59. Hants June 12, 2017 at 8:10 AM #

    Equality of Teachers and Schools. Teachers at Kolij should be as good as teachers at Alexandra or CP.

    Streaming within schools to create classes for students who are above average academically.

    A transportation plan for school children.

    ZONING. Children should go to school within a few kilometers of their homes.

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: