The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – A Recurring Decimal

The expression used at caption has found its way into the local vernacular to describe not merely the repetition of a number or series of numbers in the dividend such as when 1/3 or 1/7 is converted to decimal form but, less accurately, the too frequent re-emergence of a person or issue. Concerning the latter, I have remarked in this space on more occasions than a few, on the apparent local propensity to raise and re-circulate some matters of public discourse without ever coming to a definitive resolution of them one way or another. As a columnist, I am certainly not complaining since it provides some ready weekly fodder, but it is scarcely effective.

The list is indeed a long one -the policy of the imposition of the death penalty; the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults; the reform of our defamation laws; the establishment of a freedom of information culture and a condign statute; improved regulation of the privately owned public transportation sector; public and private sector integrity; a Contractor-General; the modern relevance of an Upper House of Parliament; and, finally, today’s topic, the inutility of the common entrance exam, more popularly known as the Eleven-plus or, even more officially and loftily, as the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination [BSEE].

Truth to tell, this issue is not as yet entered firmly into the current national discourse, but I read a newspaper report last week, in which my Cave Hill Campus colleague, Professor Joel Warrican, Director of the School of Education, lists this examination first among those conditions that “inhibit the fight of our young citizens to strengthen the resilience of the regional citizenry”. In the report, Professor Warrican appears to be more concerned with the “large proportion of students who do not meet the expected standards and the consequent stratification of the secondary school system created by the manner in which the results of the Common Entrance Examination are used to allocate students to schools, leading to “the marginalization of students who are allocated to ‘bad’ (sic) schools”.

I suppose that the first question that would be asked of the professor is the basis on which a school is to be assessed as “bad”, an adjective that is scarcely ever heard in popular local parlance. I am prepared to concede, however, that there exists in that argot the notion of “good” schools, so it seems conceivable that there must also be, comparatively, some not-so-good and even some bad ones, although it is unclear on what basis these designations are to be made.

As one who believes, errantly or otherwise, that I owe the nature of my current existence largely to my result in the Common Entrance Examination in the late 1960’s, I am naturally inclined to the view that it is the fairest system of transferring youngsters to secondary school, especially given the horror stories recounted of what obtained before, where it was not unknown for some to pass the examination only to fail the subsequent “interview” that was totally unrelated to the child’s academic prowess, but merely to his or her social standing and material comforts. Given my condition at eleven, it is at least doubtful whether I could have passed the interview component, never mind my performance in the academic aspect, hence the existence of my current bias.

Of course, one supposes that the nature and content of the examination itself could be adjusted; for instance, transfer from primary to secondary school might be effected at a later age and the element of continuous assessment by coursework constituting one aspect of the final mark, as now obtains in the regional secondary schools and UWI examinations clearly has a role to play. Concomitantly, the question begs asking, is assessment on the basis of prowess in English language and mathematics only a useful indicator of ability to cope academically at the secondary level?

The truth remains however, that the concept of examination remains the most common mode of determining progress at most levels of education. The first year student in the Bachelor of Laws programme at UWI cannot progress to the second year without having achieved success by examination in a sufficient number of his or her Part One courses, similarly to progress to the third year, and to the first and second years at Law School respectively. One would also have to pass examinations to become a certified butcher, baker or candlestick maker, so the notion of progress by examination is not inherently noisome.

The true problem with the BSEE is not the examination itself, rather it is what populism makes of it. The students who gain top placement in the BSEE are more lauded and feted initially and for a longer period by a fawning press than those who acquire terminal degrees in subjects of national development value. They inevitably become the darlings of their teachers and the parents bask vicariously in the achievement of their offspring, at least until a new cadre replaces the “top ten” the following year.

There is, strangely enough, no similar press follow-up for the BSEE high achiever unless she or she goes on to be a success otherwise. Indeed, the examination itself is made into a national spectacle with televised and newspaper interviews and parents and their young charges after the event, gifts of examination materials, complete with the obligatory news coverage by the ubiquitous politician; and special events put on by local restaurants for those who can afford it. And the outcomes of the BSEE persevere well into adulthood here where many individuals are often described by reference to their secondary school rather than to their tertiary affiliation.

In any ensuing public discourse on this matter, the onus is clearly on those who would seek to replace the BSEE with another form of transfer to propose it and to justify its existence in what is claimed to be a meritocratic polity. Given the current state of affairs, any system that is less objective than an examination arguably runs the risk of being categorized as discriminatory to some among us as the pernicious old “interview”

411 thoughts on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – A Recurring Decimal


  1. Artax

    And what sense does it make going to the parents/ teachers conference when you yourself said on BU on more than one occasion that the entire education system in Barbados needs to be revamped?


  2. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/pip-waiting-time-deaths-disabled-people-die-disability-benefits-personal-independence-payment-dwp-a8727296.html

    Look at yall UK masters that ya mimic and follow and practice all their nastiness.

    If they are doing this to their OWN PEOPLE…imagine what they WILL DO to yall WORSHIPPING DUMMIES in Barbados and the Caribbean..when shit really start to go SOUTH OF NORTH..

    and the real number is 21,000 DISABLED PEOPLE DEAD..more than 9 people per day.

    now don’t start mimicking that culling of the disabled cause yall know ya are just COPIERS…ya have not one original thought in ya goddamn empty heads..


  3. Lawson..it is ugly and will get worse under universal credit, they are desperate, the useless politicians and the people are vulnerable, between the elderly and the disabled…many more deaths is all they have to look forward to…..we have been watching this for some time and the magnitude of what is ahead, is staggering…

    …..while the shitehounds in parliament in Barbados are wearing those fake titles from the fake crown as a badge of honour using it to hide and cover up their criminality against the people of Barbados…instead of upgrading the school system, upgrade the hospital, upgrade the transportation system, upgrade the mentalities of the people…FOR THEIR OWN PROTECTION AGAINST THE CRIMINALS WHO WILL SOON BE ON THE LOOSE..and headed for the Caribbean

    … but it will all come apart at the seams because of their inaction…, just watch..


  4. Pacha will be able to give an even better analysis of this frightening and developing situation…


  5. CORRECTION:

    don’t want anyone to think that I see useless politicians as vulnerable.

    they are desperate, the useless politicians are destroying the people they KNOW are vulnerable, between the elderly and the disabled…many more deaths is all they have to look forward to…..we have been watching this for some time and the magnitude of what is ahead, is staggering…


  6. The singularly spectacular thing that is missing in the Barbadian landscape (AND WHERE IT APPEARS – KILLED) is CRITICAL THOUGHT

    de ole man has a serious bias abot this topic HAVING SEEN THE RESULTS AND PANDEMIC NATURE OF collective “ILLNESS” of the bajan psyche that is the results of being unable to think critically.

    While de ole man has no scientific evidence, nor literary rather pedagogical authority to say this, I would say that “the dearth of Critical Thinking in our education system is a main contributor to the endemic idiocy and problems in our society.”

    People do not know how to think, which details to watch out for in their interactions with external stimuli/info.

    Without that step they are incapable of the very first part of critical thinking.

    Simply put, if you dont know what to look for, it becomes a colossal waste foop since you won’t ever know what iterative questions to ask, or steps to take, next.

    Case in point Dompey, fondly referred to as Leximoron and less reverently by another term by de ole man.

    He cannot discern the content of a posit, when it is first tabled, euphemism for “think critically” or understand what is being proposed, then ask himself questions, moving thereafter towards the next level of reasoned deduction, and then making informed decisions.

    All this is “A BRIDGE TOO FAR” for donkey and hundreds of thousands of bajans

    Any change to the Curriculum of the Entire Primary Secondary and Tertiary education system MUST INCLUDE CRITICAL THOUGHT IN ITS STRUCTURE

    Without this in our revamping equation, WE WILL FAIL !!!


  7. Artax/Vincent – To be fair to WARU aka Abigail de Salemite now called a “keyboard warrior”, I got the impression she was proposing CA as the mechanism for secondary school placement rather than the CE.

    WARU – The Guardian article supports my position. Read to onstan ah beg yuh.

    David – The answer is in Jeff’s masterpiece, which I highlighted from the outset. The Singapore model we so often reference is test-based but it provides different streams, therefore options are available for students based on their interests. Until we as a society appreciate and support all forms of secondary education and professions, we will continue to feel that it’s HC, QC etc or bust. While we cuss the HQCM hegemony, we still bout Ivy League and how UWI ain’t ranked etc, etc.🤐


  8. Ha, Ha…why the hell don’t you educate the blog..ya sit ya ass down in front ya computer everyday waxing crap about Barbados and the Caribbean and not even once mentioned anything about the culling of the disabled and elderly in the UK..and call yaself a journalist…but you are next,…so we really will not need to know…

    ya really need to stop though…Lawson..

    all the shite yall talk about my white husband, but never even think, that there is a larger than normal percentage of European blood in my bloodlines…so what do you think that causes…besides, ya think it is only white people dying in UK..think again..

    why don’t you move over from Canada to UK…..ya will be rid of Justin for sure…lol


  9. all the shite yall talk about my white husband {Quote}

    You mean to tell me that after all the talk about white minorities and white suppression of blacks, slavery etc, in every single contribution they post to BU………this woman is MARRIED to a WHITE MAN?

    You couldn’t be more HYPOCRITICAL than that.

    It means all that talk is just shite talk to IMPRESS people, because they are NOT practicing what they preach.


  10. wuh happen…ya jealous…that is because ya cannot multitask…don’t blame me…


  11. and explain to me the difference..

    married to a black man..and beating up on black people…

    married to a black woman and beating up on black people…

    explain the difference,, ya ignoramus..

    the education system does NEED a serious overhaul…

    and ya still lack the self confidence to actually draw anyone to ya posts…


  12. “The Truth shall set you free”

    Well, when you are married to a white person that does not mean that his or her family is going to welcome you with open-arms … so from this angle we can see where the animosity towards whites lies….


  13. Next thing the ignoramuses on the bog will be telling me is to get rid of ALL THE EUROPEAN BLOOD COURSING THROUGH MY VEINS…while the jackasses continue to worship white people and allow themselves to be enslaved again..

    ….yall really need to change ya stupid ways…or drown yaselves…I do not think even racists at this point will see any use for any of you…


  14. “The Trurh shall set you free”

    Many of the white kids that I knew in my younger years here have been warned by their parents not to bring that N….R at my home.


  15. Lexicon……I had a good relationship with my in-laws while they lived.

    and if ya calling exposing human rights abuses animosity to whites, ya bette watch ya backside in US..because that too is about to go sideways…


  16. And since “The Truth Shall Set You Free”

    while the jackasses continue to worship white people, SELL OUT EACH OTHER TO the same people…ROB EACH OTHER to help enrich the same whites, keep white people’s criminal secrets, refuse to understand that in so doing they are robbing GENERATIONS OF THEIR OWN current and future descendants a good life… and will allow themselves to be enslaved again….all because of their own ignorance..

    and yall got talk fo me, look at the state of Barbados…then look at the HYPOCRITE in ya mirror..


  17. The way ya ranting and raving in so many posts, ya sure ya name shud be Warrior, Crazy & Unstable Lunatic, Hogging the Blog?

    Dont care what you say, you are still a hypocrite and it’s ironic that ya have to honour ya white husband, washing and cooking fuh massa, like a good little devoted slave.

    The education system needs over hauling? Yes, I agree.

    Waru: the UK started the enslavement of the Arawaks and Caribs in the Caribbean…….LIE

    Waru: no assessment of school children in Barbados…..LIE

    What she does…..post crap about the disabled in the UK and other irrelevant shite to save face and give her something to talk about, because she ain’t got nuffin to contribute to the topic.

    ♫ ♫ Rant and rave, rant and rave like a lunatic ♫♫

    ♫ ♫ Rant and rave, rant and rave like a lunatic ♫♫

    LOL


  18. “Dont care what you say, you are still a hypocrite and it’s ironic that ya have to honour ya white husband, washing and cooking fuh massa, like a good little devoted slave.”

    lol..ya sound more and more jealous…ya should stat a blog, with me as THE STAR…ya will get more attention..

    if only you knew…ya would envy my life..


  19. WARU

    I have no problem with White folks ….my dear departured madda worked as a maid for Mrs. Toppin who used own Toppin Supermarket on Roebuck St (she lived in Cave Hill in a massive wall house) , Mrs. Edgehill who husband I believe cook the food for the airlines for Barbados and Jamaican, Mrs Sergeant and many other white families in Barbados.

    My madda would take me to work with her ooccasionally to do things like cutting the grass for many of these white Bajan families during the 70s.

    And I must say devoid of ambiguity that they were all decent and respectable people who treated us with the utmost respect, but don’t dear date or attempt to date any their daughters…


  20. Lexicon….the human rights abuses against black people is really the problem that everyone has been highlighting..

    red flags are going up..it is best to pay attention to those red flags instead of ignoring them then pleading ignorance later…

    ignorance is no excuse FOR ALLOWING YOUR human rights to be violated..


  21. wait..ya ran out of things to tell me about myself……lol

    ya will get crushed, the hardest thing is to know.


  22. That only shows that I dont discriminate..I have no favourites AND APPLY EVERYTHING EVENLY to everyone…….but with all of that, am still called a RACIST..lol

    then am called, crazy and unstable….when family gatherings are like the United Nations, with all that …that drama entails..


  23. So Enuff…when yall going to start either ZONING O ASSESSMENTS…instead of bombarding me with talk.


  24. WARU

    When have Black people rights not been violated?
    I don’t think I could recall a time in my life time when this hasn’t been the case … from Jim Crow in the US, Racial Apartheid in South Africa, the effects of colonialism and imperialism in Africa and the western hemisphere, and the deliberated execution of Black people by the White Supremacists disgusted as law Enforcement …


  25. WARU

    Che Guevara, was studying to become a medical doctor in Argentina, just before he traveled throughout South America and saw what effects European Imperialism was having on the poor people of South America, and it was at that point that he made it his life work to fight this moral evil. Che, even when as far as Africa and trained Africans how to use guerrilla warfare in order to fight the European imperialists…


  26. So all yall plan to do is continue to list those human rights violations…..AGAINST YASELVES, YA CHILDREN, YA GRANDCHILDREN……

    …how many more decades ya plan to list them for, because those human rights violations…even from ya own people, like the usual frauds we get on BU…will just keep right on coming…and your children are watching..

    how bout standing up for ya rights instead…..for a change..


  27. Che did not have to travel far to see any human rights violations..the animals for leaders were murdering black people right in his home Argentina, because they wanted no black skin there…now they all look like a bunch of pale skin with NEGROID FEATURES…lol

    …he knew what the beasts were capable of long before he left Argentina.


  28. What has the script of the Democratic structure done to the educational construct?

    The best place is to start for the current status and intent is the do the research of the USDE and the ongoing fight against its agenda.
    Beware, the phangs of the script extends to all Democratic societies and it’s only a matter of time before those agendas surfice unless the agent for change accomplishes the mission.

    Barbados system of education just needs streamlining, attention and tweaking.. it produces results..all of you here have benefited, whether greatly or poorly ….that, according to individual circumstances. The diaspora applauds it’s results.

    The teaching technology now being applied in the medical arena can be introduced to classroom.. plant structure has to be revamped..

    @piece
    Your digital blackboard concept is revolutionary because students are verse in the technology and will grab concepts and information more easily.


  29. WARU

    As a student at a Havana University Castro did not like what was taken place in his country as far as American exploration is concerned, but Che vision was much bigger than that of Castro’s, because he wanted to rid the South American continent and possibly the world in which he lived of European Imperialism.


  30. Nineofnine

    The digital blackboard concept is old technology …I used the blackboard two decades ago to do my college assignments…


  31. Nineofnine

    What I am saying is the concept is old
    …every college student in America today uses the blackboard to do their assignments and to receive their assignments from the professor…


    • An exam defines the ability to be competitive? There is the argument that an exam is not a true test of ones ability?


  32. Ninneofnine

    “The teaching technology now being applied in the medical arena can be introduced in the classroom”

    Such as:


  33. @ WARU at 1 :35 PM

    Are NEGROID FEATURES good or bad? Just asking for clarification. I do not intend to trade mine in.


  34. Lawson

    And don’t blame Affirmative Action for what the White male brought upon himself…because had there not been employment discrimination in area of management against minorities and the White woman, we wouldn’t be having this conversation now. Affirmative Action was designed to even the managerial playing field for minorities and the White woman.


  35. Lawson

    I do not agree with Affirmative Action in the area of academics… look at Justice Clarence Thomas, he was a recipient of affirmative action and not he vehemently opposing the very thing he benefited from…


  36. We all lose when
    We strive for mediocrity. For instance in the education system when children with afflictions by law are allowed to be educated with kids without. Teachers have to devote more of their time to that student to the detriment of the others. It is not affirmative action but will just by resources being disproportionately applied the class average will be lowered


  37. Lawson

    Firstly, are you talking about Barbados, the US, UK or Canada? And when you used the word afflictation are you talking about an intellectual disability?

    Well, in America if a child has a learning disability or behavioural issue associated with that intellectual disability, a special ed teacher works long side the teacher with that child or children to address those needs.


  38. @ Lawson at 5:09 PM

    And the same goes for mixing slow learners with quick learners. And those requiring remedial coaching with those who have grasped the concept. One is virtually telling the higher achiever that he should not excel and that mediocrity is good.


  39. “@ WARU at 1 :35 PM

    Are NEGROID FEATURES good or bad? Just asking for clarification. I do not intend to trade mine in.”

    ya better don’t trade yours in, ya won’t get anything better..lol, but those were not the features Argentina bargained for when they decided to rid the country of their African descended people…


  40. Vincent Codrington

    That is the job of the Special Ed Teacher …and if Barbados is void of those resources to do the job, so whose fault is it?


  41. The racists in them have paid to. learn that multiple bloodlines are a hell of a thing.


  42. You understand me Vincent lexicon if the child has a designated aide do you not believe other kids are being let down if the money all comes out of the same budget


  43. Lawson

    By federal law in this country if a child with Down syndrome wishes go to publice school despite his or her disability whether physical or mental you cannot stop him or her. And this all has to do with discrimination… the school has to find the necessary resources to address that child’s needs…


  44. Lawson

    That why in America you rarely find secondary schools like Harrison’s College and Queen’s College …. and the nonesense like A,B, C forms ….as this stuff would be viewed as discrimination … A, B, and C students sit in the same classroom…. everybody get packing in the few high schools in the area…


  45. @ Lexicon at 5 :28 PM

    No need for Special Ed Teachers. In our Teacher training institutions all are trained to teach a child. For one reason or other there will be gaps in learning which need to be corrected. We can have three streams in each school or have schools that take six years instead of five years to reach proficiency at the CXC level. Not every one wants to be an academic and these needs are also taken care of in our system. But they all must be literate and they all must be numerate. Those are the sine qua non of our system of education.

    From my observations the young citizens are more articulate and speak more grammatically correct than previous generations. They handle modern technology better than their parents.


  46. Vincent Codrington

    The crap about high achiever don’t even make any sense …in what way would a child with a learning disability keep back a high achiever when the special ed teacher is working beside the beside the child with disability to direct him or her?


  47. If the money is from one pool. The size of the class is impacted by having one on one interaction for one child David you are right about tests but running around like Chauncey Gardner is not great either


  48. @ David BU

    The BSEE determines the allocation to schools in the secondary school system. It is a competitive exam. The papers are graded. That is a competitive process. It is an indicator of the child’s academic ability. That is the ability which the BSEE is testing. And it is a quantitative,objective measure.


  49. lol…Lawson..I cannot understand why they don’t get that the 11 plus…is an EXAM OF EXCLUSION…

    get the damn thing right without thinking of BRIBES..


  50. Lexicon
    Reference was made to virtual and Augmented reality. Digital technology two decades ago have little comparison to what it is today and you know that.

    Thing is, Barbados need to make a gigantic leap going forward, and not necessarily with the help of the Chinese.


  51. Vincent
    Special needs children must be placed in an environment that is design for expanding their potential. Their brains are conceptually wired. They become demotivated quickly in a classroom fill with linear minds.


  52. @Artax January 15, 2019 5:11 AM “I received correspondence from my son’s school principal, in which he informed parents that, especially the third term of any school year, various assessments of students are conducted and the Criterion Reference Tests (CRT) are given to test their knowledge of grammar, comprehension, general science, social studies and mathematics.”

    True.

    And one of my “kids” surprised me by getting 2 1/2% less than expected; and another got 1 1/2% more than expected.

    Parents who claim to be surprised, and who claim that their children are traumatised by the 11+ results are lying, or have not been paying attention to their children’s school work for years.

    If as a parent you refuse to pay attention to your children, expect many, many nasty surprises as they go through life.


  53. Some parents express surprise too when their favourite son, whom they know keeps bad company is gunned down.


  54. Or maybe the son is the leader of the bad company, but have you ever noticed that nobody ever claims that their son is the “LEADER” of the company of “bad boys”?


  55. Akilah Sharifa Dornita Thornhill was granted $2 000 bail after appearing before a Bridgetown magistrate this afternoon.
    The 28-year-old sales woman of #71 Edgehill Terrace St Thomas, denied that with intent to make permanent, she defaulted in whole or in part on an existing liability to make a payment dishonestly induced Kerry MacMaster, her creditor, to wait for payment in the amount of $4 000 by deception, by falsely representing that she would pay the sum of $4 000, but failed to do so when called upon to do so between September 13, 2017 and July 12, 2018.
    Prosecutor Constable Kenmore Phillips did not object to bail for the woman who was represented by attorney Jamila Rawlins. Acting Magistrate Anika Jackson released her with a surety before ordering that she report to the District “A” Police Station every Tuesday before 9 a.m. (Quote)

    Why is this case in a criminal court? Why is she remanded on $2000 bail? Why does she have to report to a police station once a week? Our courts need reform and our magistrates need training on sentencing.


  56. “Parents who claim to be surprised, and who claim that their children are traumatised by the 11+ results are lying, or have not been paying attention to their children’s school work for years.”

    Sir Simple Simon, P.C

    That’s the point I was trying emphasize………and as usual, the BU idiot missed the point to focus on irrelevant nonsense about I should “stop patting (myself) on the shoulder because (I’m) not a super parent because attend some parents teachers meeting…”

    There’s an old saying that “the apple does not fall too far from the tree.” I hope, for his children’s sake, this isn’t true.


  57. Why is this case in a criminal court? {Quote}

    I’m guessing because it’s a criminal matter?

    If it was a case of Kerry MacMaster suing Akilah Sharifa Dornita Thornhill for repayment of the $4,000, would it be a civil matter?

    Since you’re the legal expert, why not tell us?


  58. all the shite yall talk about my white husband {Quote}

    You mean to tell me that after all the talk about white minorities and white suppression of blacks, slavery etc, in every single contribution they post to BU………this woman is MARRIED to a WHITE MAN?

    You couldn’t be more HYPOCRITICAL than that.

    It means all that talk is just shite talk to IMPRESS people, because they are NOT practicing what they preach.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The woman is a fraud.Has zero credibility.


  59. PHILOSOPHY f o r EDUCATION, the challenge of our times

    The PER Group is a relatively small voluntary group of people which has been meeting for twenty-five years. Its basic premiss was in 1993 and still is today that the UK (and similar) secondary education systems are h o p e l e s s. They are not fit for purpose. They mislead parents into thinking that their children will be “educated”. All they do is —keep the children off the streets during middleday hours and try to t r a i n them like performing seals. Most of this ‘training’ is getting pupils to memorise facts and processes held together by the sketchiest of connections. Once the exam is over the point of this training has been achieved, so, being human beings, they realise they don’t need it any more. The sketchy connections quickly vanish. Various research studies have shown that r e c a l l of items memorised in this way fades within days and almost disappears within a month. What kind of ‘education system’ is this? Worse than useless, because it is wasting the best learning years of the youthful generation. It has succeeded in turning learning into a c h o r e and putting most of the youthful generation o f f education.
    Yet governments such as the UK government constantly praise themselves highly on behalf of their education systems, which are supposed to be “much better than they used to be”, and chasing “higher standards”. This is an intolerable situation. The Official Story is that the education system is a modern triumph. The evidence all around us is that it is a disaster, actively the destroying the good name of ‘education’ which used to be a holy grail.
    2018 CONFERENCE
    The PER Group’s main conclusions fall under four headings:
    1 Hopefulness —the essential basis for getting through to youth
    2 The need to try to rebuild the Moral Zeitgeist —the non-negotiable status of basic accountability. This is the only rock on which the enduring classless culture of the UK can rest. It, too, needs to be re-built. Without this there is no legitimacy.
    3 Understanding —a concept rubbished by Bloom’s Taxonomy— which must be the central aim of teaching. We must teach for understanding (full inner digestion of meaning, meaning to last a lifetime).
    4 Imagination/envisioning —this is the main capability which is both urgently needed by everyone in the modern ever-changing world, and is also being lost as a result of media overload.
    We aim to spend an hour debating each heading.
    SPEAKERS: These include Prof. Richard Pring (Oxford University), Denise Keir (Vice-Chair of PER) and Chris Ormell (Secretary of PER), Prof. Evan Parker, Dr Sean Vertigan, Neville Grant, Craig Ross.
    ATTENDEES will receive a copy of the PER 2015 Report: also a sandwich + soft drink for lunch. Coffee available at Conway Hall Bar.

    The HOPEFULNESS theme is paramount. The present paradigm for schooling is based on Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956) which made a stir when it rubbished understanding and claimed that the job of schools was to alter students’ behaviour. The PER Group’s aim is simply to c l a r i f y the meaning of basic concepts which have been interpreted mistakenly in today’s pressured, fevered, behaviourist schools. We have no ideological, religious, political, ethnic or partisan axe to grind. Education is a mainstream activity and what is taught must satisfy the democratic majority.
    WHAT WENT WRONG? BLOOM’s TAXONOMY offers six levels of cognitive behaviour which are all crammable. This is an extremely crude, invalid attempt to describe u n d e r s t a n d i n g. To use it to assess children is like using a system based on painting-by-numbers to assess paintings for an Art Gallery. Bloom’s Taxonomy is treated as a Bible by the examination Boards. Unfortunately they actually determine what happens in schools because teachers want to get their students the best possible results. This is a narrow, targetted, selective u n e d u c a t i o n a l form of training.

    HOPEFUNESS This is pivotal. Students must be able to find reasons to visualise a good future, otherwise they are likely to succumb to depression.
    There are two levels here:
    (1) Long term hopefulness. This depends on progress in resolving the deep epistemological crisis in science. The news here is excellent —see page 6. Against all the odds, a breakthrough has been made: we can make sense of the universe at last, though it is extremely counter-intuitive.
    (2) Short term hopefulness. This is in education itself. It should be possible to devise a form of AI which allows a voice like Alexa to question students at the end of each day to find out just how much they have remembered, taken-in and understood of what they were taught during the day. This is a fantastic prospect, which will produce a huge improvement in education.
    Another source of hopefulness:
    A new paradigm in maths: Maths is essentially a source of analogies for real things. It is transparent 100% lucid, 100% rational. We can use it to explore the logical implications of all kinds of exciting future projects.
    2 An internet ID for all children. This would allow all unsuitable, disorienting content to be put off-bounds.
    3 Recent advances in medicine. (Quote)


  60. Why does everything in Barbados have to d with if ya white or black or in-between shade! It’s ignorant! Ya got 11+ exams for a reason, even though when I was a boy and did very well at the age of nine and got into Harrison’s College, even till this day some people still say that you white so you would get through! What BS, when dem mark my paper dem en got no photo of me on pun it! Gov sector and public workers all Black, so why all this against whitie ! Really get a grip and move on! Its all about mentality, not skin color! Why would a maid’s son and handy a think he could date a man’s daughter if they are the upper class and he is servant class and maybe the color is not the reason, and after all its the girl’s choice, Lokka Debbie Simpson marry a black man!


  61. Hal
    ..”Various research studies have shown that r e c a l l of items memorised in this way fades within days and almost disappears within a month. What kind of ‘education system’ is this?”…quote

    Those “scientist” findings are inconclusive and misleading. Though it (body of information) would appear to diminish, the fact is that it graduates form the conscious mind to the subconscious mind and from there to the quantum field of the DNA where it is forever stored.

    This form of approach usually carries a sinister agenda, albeit unknown to the vulnerable. Nevertheless, that said data can be recalled within certain parameters.


  62. Buckerd… Welcome

    ….”Why would a maid’s son and handy a think he could date a man’s daughter if they are the upper class and he is servant class and maybe the color is not the reason, and after all its the girl’s choice,…”

    Do you understand what your posit and query has highlighted?

    Umm, that conundrum of thought is the root of what you choose not to or pretend not to acknowledge.

    The way of life is handed from generation to generation… It is taught, and by extension, learned from the actions, attitudes, and expressions.

    Similarly, the way of life on the other hand is also taught and learn but with a difference of having been subjugated and suppressed.


  63. Rappers Skengdo and AM breached injunction by performing drill music

    Skengdo and AM were sentenced to nine months in jail suspended for two years
    Two rappers have been given suspended sentences for performing drill music which incited violence against rival gang members.
    Skengdo, real name Terrell Doyley, and AM, real name Joshua Malinga, pleaded guilty to breaching a gang injunction at Croydon County Court, police say.
    The injunction was made against the pair last year because they were members of a gang in south London.
    They were sentenced to nine months in jail suspended for two years.
    The Metropolitan Police says Skengdo and AM, both 21, breached an interim gang injunction which was made in August last year.
    “It was breached when they performed drill music that incited and encouraged violence against rival gang members and then posted it on social media,” it said in a statement.
    Their manager TK told the Press Association the musicians were not involved in gang violence.
    He said they pleaded guilty after a video of one of their live performances was uploaded to the internet without their knowledge.
    The Met’s top officer Cressida Dick previously linked drill music to an increase in violence in London
    The interim injunction was made against the rappers because they were members of a gang in Lambeth, south London – and were linked to rising violence in the borough, police said on Friday.
    The injunction was brought into full force during hearings held on 10 and 14 January. It will last for two years.
    Detective Inspector Luke Williams, of Lambeth and Southwark’s Gangs Unit, said: “I am pleased with the sentences passed in these cases which reflect that the police and courts are unwilling to accept behaviour leading to serious violence.
    “The court found that violence in drill music can, and did in this case, amount to gang-related violence.”
    1Xtra to carry on playing drill music
    Using drill to turn lives around
    Drill music video stopped by armed police
    TK, the director of Finesse Foreva, said the last time either of the rappers “might have had a run-ins with the law was when they were 16 and 17”.
    He said at a hearing in January, police had tried to link Skengdo and AM to the history of crime in Brixton – which is in the Lambeth borough.
    “They didn’t find nothing on them in terms of violence because they don’t have nothing on them.”
    He added: “Why the Met’s probably done that is because they want to affect their lives, scare big venue owners off.”
    Skengdo and AM have performed at Reading and Leeds festivals and have appeared on 1Xtra.
    They performed on Kenny Allstar’s 1Xtra show on 11 January – he described them as “one of the hottest duos in UK drill music”.
    Drill music came under the spotlight last year when the Met’s top police officer linked it to an increase in violence in London.(Quote)

    It is now a criminal offence in the UK to perform certain kinds of music. And, surprise, surprise, it is black music. When will it become an offence to dance to calypso or reggae?

  64. Pingback: The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – The Guns of January | Barbados Underground

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