Where Education Ends Good Sense Should Begin

Submitted by Paula Sealy


What mental health services will be provided after you have allowed Lower 6 (ages 16-17) CAPE 2022 students to be placed under severe anguish, unfathomable physical distress and untold mental strain?

In one country, secondary school students have spent approximately seven weeks at school for face-to-face instruction in preparation for their CAPE Unit 1 exams scheduled for next month. 

For those who do not know, Unit 2 of CAPE is completed in Upper 6 (17-18) as CAPE consists of two units over two years with two separate syllabuses and two separate exams. CSEC is a 2-year course of study which starts in 4th Form (14-15) and sees exams in 5th Form (15-16), by comparison. Unit 2 students had the benefit of last year’s experience when their Unit 1 exams began in June. That year’s experience still pushed many of their peers to venture off to technical and vocational studies, community college, UWI or the world of work instead of completing Unit 2.

Across the region, today, CAPE and CSEC candidates are in need of more time in order to complete the syllabus and ‘digest’ the material. I am disappointed but I am not surprised that good sense hasn’t prevailed. The Beckles stewardship model and the Wesleyan leadership style used by CXC do not endorse good sense.

Mses. Williams of Jamaica, McConney of Barbados, Gadsby-Dolly of Trinidad and Tobago, and Manickchand of Guyana, your countries are the major sources of candidates for CXC exams. Ladies, as Ministers of Education you need to challenge COHSOD to address the concerns of the students and teachers of the Caribbean where CXC is concerned with dutiful assiduity. If that fails, it is time enough to step out of your insular comfort zones and represent the children by all necessary and sufficient means.

Each one of the children matters and each one is not deaf or blind. Where education ends good sense should begin, not CXC exams.

May God help the Caribbean and its children. 

134 thoughts on “Where Education Ends Good Sense Should Begin

  1. And contrary to what BAJE says, many universities in the USA and elsewhere, perhaps most, have different admissions requirements for mature students. That is students who are about 25 or older [the age varies from university to university] At this age the applicant is no longer a giddy teenager [not that all teenager are giddy] but mature students may be using some of their money, may have a job and earning a degree may lead to to a promotion or a higher salary etc., may be more certain what they want out of life etc. One of my children entered university 2 weeks after 18th birthday, another entered at 23. Both completed their degrees on time and with very good grades, and successfully entered the work world.

    Intelligence, hard work and integrity are not taught at university. Intelligence, hard work and integrity. good health in addition to a university degree or 2 or more tends to lead to a life typically described as successful.

    There is a big, big world out there. Room enough for everybody, room for the teachers, accountants, engineers, doctors, artists, builders, policy makers, business people, entrepreneurs.

    Even room for the lawyers.

    And politicians. Lol!

    There is no need for us to put down each other. When I want to be entertained I don’t call an engineer, and when I want my hair done I don’t call a doctor, and if I need a beautiful dress made I don’t call a lawyer, and for my surgery I didn’t go to a prime minister.

  2. Let us celebrate ALL of our wonderful children. Let us honor ALL their gifts.

    On my way to a pharmacist now, and then to a restaurant. Happy to know that graduates of our system can safely dispense my medicine, happy that a Bajan doctor [both probably taught by our friend GP] could correctly diagnose me and recommend treatment, Happy that somebody is cooking my lunch right now, because I don’t feel like cooking today. Happy to have a safe ZR driver too.

  3. Just had a glass of Bajan tap water. Glad that a team of Bajan scientists, graduates of our much maligned system are keeping my water safe. One of these scientists was raised in my gap. Educated in our public primary, secondary and tertiary schools, post-graduate education abroad. You have likely never heard of her, but if you have ever had a glass of water, a salad, a shower or brushed you teeth in Barbados she has served you.

  4. Pressure on CXC to push back exams

    By Tre Greaves tregreaves@nationnews.com
    As the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) holds firm in its decision to execute May/June examinations from next week, more pressure is being placed on it to push them back.
    The Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), Caribbean Coalition for Exam Redress, Barbados National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (BNCPTA) and Minister of Education in Jamaica Fayval Williams have called on the regional body to be flexible and postpone Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) tests as students were “ill-prepared”.
    According to the Jamaica Information Service, Williams even called for an urgent meeting with the chairwoman of CARICOM’s Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), who is Barbados’ Minister of Education Kay McConney.
    The request came after Jamaica’s National Secondary Students’ Council conducted a survey between February 23 and March 8 which revealed that out of the 2 812 students surveyed, 1 754 said they needed additional time to prepare for the exams.
    “We believe our students deserve additional time for their exams and so [we will] present our case to them. Some of the other accommodations they made last year, we’re asking for those as well,” Williams said on Friday during an installation ceremony of the National Youth Advisory Council of Jamaica.
    Efforts to reach McConney yesterday were unsuccessful.
    Parent advocate and spokesperson of the Caribbean Coalition for Exam Redress, Paula-Anne Moore, told the Sunday Sun: “Maybe CXC and COHSOD will now finally pay attention to the concerns publicly expressed by parents, teachers and students since early 2021 regarding 2022 exams, now that Jamaica has come out so forcefully, in a rather unprecedented manner, advocating for a delay to the 2022 CXC exams.”
    Moore, who has been speaking out publicly since the 2020 examination results controversy, said CXC needed to act as the public continued to lose faith in the regional body.
    “There are growing calls to seek alternatives for CXC as the public exam body. Certainly greater numbers of parents are pursuing private options, nationally and regionally, as confidence in CARICOM public secondary school education has been significantly damaged, if not destroyed, based on the treatment of our children since the September 2020 release of CXC’s exam results,” she added.
    BUT president Rudy Lovell said as the regional body stands firm in its decision, they were hoping students did their best.
    “Many of the students who have to sit this year’s exams missed close to two years of face-to-face classes. There was a myriad
    of challenges; this year in addition to last year was extremely difficult for students. Some of them were unable to log in online, some students contracted COVID-19.
    “Nevertheless, the CXC has determined they are not going to postpone the exams so we are hoping that the students will have the wherewithal to cope with whatever comes their way,” Lovell said.
    However, CXC said that concessions were put in place to support students in light of the ongoing pandemic. These included as much as a 50 per cent reduction in some School-Based Assessments (SBA) and the option to defer.
    “The deferral strategy has been extended for use any time prior to the administration of a subject. Candidates will be able to defer to January or June 2023, whenever the subject is administered,” CXC stated.
    General secretary of the BNCPTA Nicole Brathwaite said the deferral option was not satisfactory for many students.
    “What CXC has been saying is there is the option to defer, but not everybody wants to push back their studies for another year. They just want a bit more time to get prepared to do the exam to enter colleges or universities in the time frame they expected.”
    Brathwaite said the additional time will be needed especially for students who have to submit SBAs. She urged CXC to listen to its clients and parents to speak up more.
    “So I think CXC needs to be more flexible under the circumstances. You need to listen to the people who are their clients and make room. Not only to say we are going to stick to our rules hard and fast, but understand that the pandemic has affected these children in so many ways and this pressure to meet these deadlines is not beneficial to their mental health,” she added.
    The May/June CAPE examinations are set from May 2 to June 10 and CSEC’s May 2 to June 3.

    Source: Nation

  5. Pacha..totally appropriate for this thread:

    “We cannot advance or appropriately defend our interests and lives as Afrikan people if we place the fate of our community in the hands of the educational establishment of our oppressors and enemies, and in the hands of those Afrikans educated in them. Afrikan peoples and Afrikan leaders should be the recipients of an Afrikan-centered education. No Afrikan should be granted leadership in the community who has not been certified through education or experience as Afrikan-centered in consciousness, identity and orientation.”
    Amos N. Wilson.

  6. I post these things to BU because i know it’s wasted on most.

  7. Allow me to make a gigantic leap and at the same time tie two items together.
    I wish to put it to you that our conversations on Dodds and Education are both sides of the same coin or two Barbados..

    Dodds – deviants, lost, almost unsalvageable and applying the rules with all the savagery they contain to the unfortunates

    CXC -salvageable, promising future and running to bend/twist the rules for the benefit of the favored few

  8. You are right, they are linked, the same archaic criminal colonial laws, and slave codes used for both…

  9. Harvard leaders and staff enslaved 79 people, university finds
    The school said it had benefited from slave-generated wealth and practiced racial discrimination

    Harvard University leaders, faculty and staff enslaved more than 70 individuals during the 17th and 18th centuries when slavery was legal in Massachusetts, according to a report chronicling the university’s deep ties to wealth generated from slave labor in the South and Caribbean — and its significant role in the nation’s long history of racial discrimination.
    More here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/04/26/harvard-slavery-report/

  10. Teachers under pressure
    Absenteeism putting strain on system

    RECENT HIGHER LEVELS of absenteeism is putting pressure on some primary school teachers.
    President of the Association of Public Primary School Principals, Ivan Clarke, said that although some teachers may have been absent because of legitimate reasons such as COVID-19 precautions, some schools had been under pressure.
    “We are finding just a little higher number of absenteeism than normal, because when someone is ill they go and get tested to take the precautions.
    “However, there is some pressure because those teachers who do special subjects, have to be pulled from their programmes and they have to fill in. Before you could’ve put the children together but now we can’t. So those are the subjects that suffered in the last term, ” Clarke said.
    Not only were specialist teachers substituting, he said some principals also had to.
    “There were some principals who said the last term they had to take up some of the slack when people were out because the children must be taught and if they’re at the school they must be supervised and taught,” he added.
    He was responding to questions about the start of the Trinity and face-to-face teaching term beginning this week.
    While noting that the consistent rainfall weather the country has been experiencing since Monday could have led to the reduced numbers, Clarke said they would be keeping an eye on the trend.
    Meanwhile president of the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools Stephen Jackman said that he received no complaints at the end of the first day of face-toface instruction.
    Smaller roll
    “Nobody reported concerns some of us might have seen a slightly smaller roll because of the rain but there were no serious concerns,” he said.
    However, he pointed out that the COVID-19 measures were in place and the COVID Monitoring Unit had been working closely with schools.
    “From what I understand the protocols were in place. Some of us had a visit from the COVID Unit to do some measurements but that was not an issue,” Jackman added.
    Last night president of the Barbados Union of Teachers, Rudy Lovell, could not be reached for comment but on Monday said the readiness “will only be ascertained once we are on the compound”.
    He promised to inform once the association had received feedback.

    Source: Nation

  11. LOL
    What a set of jokers…
    Presumably when the shit REALLY hits the fan (as it will soon), we will see CXC actually distribute the exam questions in advance, to be done along with the SBAs, so that the teachers can fully assist the students to ‘succeed’ in their exams.

    It seem that ‘success’ is defined by passing these exams and getting into a university…
    NEVER mind that the brass bowls OUTPUTED from these ‘exams’ and from subsequent ‘university graduates’ are UNABLE to hold their own in ANY form of competition, even for the ownership of our OWN local assets…. far less for international penetration.

    How many CXCs are needed in order to work in a damn hotel ‘bending over’ to make visitors feel like lords and masters for a price? …or working in a Canadian-owned business or bank carrying instructions from Toronto or Ottawa to local staff?

    The REAL purpose of ‘exams’ are to separate the sheep from the damn goats, so that the REALLY talented among us can be identified and TARGETED to take the place forward in the face of FIERCE international competition.
    CXC (and UWI) have managed to water down the process to the point where the sheep and the goats are now BOTH brass bowls….. and as a result, foreigners have been eating our lunch now for well over a decade….

    Bushie has been saying FOR YEARS now, that the REAL potential LEADERS in this society (those with the balls and character) have been relegated to the ‘blocks’ and the ‘ZR community’ by the stupidity of the idiotic systems that we have in place.

    As things get tighter, the foreigners will start to ration the scraps that they have been leaving us,,,(as EMERA has started to do,) …ONLY THEN will we understand that the point of ‘exams’ is NOT to ensure that any and every jackass can bray….

  12. “Bushie has been saying FOR YEARS now, that the REAL potential LEADERS in this society (those with the balls and character) have been relegated to the ‘blocks’ and the ‘ZR community’ by the stupidity of the idiotic systems that we have in place”

    say it louder for SLOW LEARNERS… those with degrees from degree mills sitting at the back.. believing they arrived..

    saw them bigging up a VP, who works under a Managing Director, who works under a Director, who works under a Vice President who works under a President, who works under a CEO who works under a….and so on and so on….so a VP is low down on the food chain…in any corporate setting….but don’t tell that to the GIDDY…

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