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No word! CXC waiting as islands scrap 11-Plus

No word! CXC waiting as islands scrap 11-Plus

By Gercine Carter | Sun, May 05, 2013 - 12:11 AM

Barbados is yet to make a decision about whether to replace the Common Entrance Examination with a Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) test already in use in some Eastern Caribbean nations.

Deputy Chief Education Officer David Clement told the Sunday Sun that “discussions are going on” about the CXC’s Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) but no decision had been taken. 

In an interview, CXC registrar Dr Didacus Jules said that as a member country of the CXC Council, Barbados was represented at meetings where the CPEA had been discussed, and local authorities were in possession of all the information about the test.

The CPEA focuses on the performance of students over a three-year period, with classroom work done over two years preceding the exam accounting for 40 per cent of the final mark.

CXC officials have claimed that the test was much broader than the Common Entrance as it would help improve numeracy and literacy and encourage greater pupil and parental participation.

Jules said CXC had devised the CPEA at the request of governments of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to find a replacement for the Common Entrance, or 11-Plus.

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 5 months ago
It's about time that continuous assessment is introduced, thereby allowing students who would normally perform poorly in a single exam like the Common Entrance, several opportunities over a three-year period to improve their scores.

The smarter or better adjusted students will continue to achieve excellence under this new system - or the older one - but it is the more marginal or low performing ones who are likely to be the greatest beneficiaries of the new approach.

This should have long been the preferred way to transition students to secondary school where the final exam accounted for a percentage of the final grade or score. It is perhaps the fairest way to evaluate a child's capabilities and readiness for the next level.

We all know that for one reason or the other, some children will not do well on the one-off 11-Plus examination that essentially decides their future. Some even say that the exam is discriminatory and unfair to students with learning deficiencies and those from low socioeconomic circumstances.

The next revolution in education should be to identify students' skills, interests and abilities early in the educational process and develop them during secondary school, instead of pretending we are routing everyone towards academia. This new approach would not deny those with the talent the opportunity to pursue the traditional choices in academia.

There will, however, have to be a paradigm shift in our thinking that all professions are equally valuable for the advancement of our society and economy - none more desirable than the other. Of course schools will have to be equipped with the necessary infrastructure, resources, technologies and trained staff to effect this change.

My only question is, why is Barbados lagging so far behind other Eastern Caribbean States in implementing the CXC’s Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA)?

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Posted by SANDREA BUTCHER 1 year, 5 months ago
The Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (BSSEE) needs replacing. It would mean that the Primary school teachers need to move outside of their comfort zone since science is a component of the test.

The Primary Schools do a disservice to the the children by prepping students for the (BSSEE) for the majority, if not all of Class Four. When they do this, the children do not learn anything new for a whole year. The children enter the secondary schools and then have to struggle with "learning". They have to encounter not only Mathematics, English Literature, English Language and Drama, but they HAVE to do Spanish and/or French (depending on the school), Integrated Science, History, Geography, Social Studies, Art, Music (Theory and sometimes Practical), Home Economics and Industrial Arts. Some schools also do Guidance or HFLE.

The children struggle in all the schools, especially at the top schools. The children get top marks in the BSSEE and then the parents wonder why the children are asked to repeat First, Second or Third Form. The children cannot handle the pace. And many parents get all kinds of lessons for the children in Class Three or Four, but when they enter the secondary schools and start to struggle, not a lesson.

The continuous Assessment aspect 'should' mean that children are constantly working. That should is used loosely because some of the secondary schools take the continuous assessment aspect of CXC SBA's as a joke. Some schools have children doing labs in Sciences, yet you can't find a Science Laboratory on the compound and the children never went to another school to use a Laboratory neither.

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