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By Nadia Mitchell-Gittens

| Tue, June 22, 2010 - 12:00 AM

IT IS with much passion that I write this letter as I think it is high time that someone speaks out about this issue. In the Daily Nation June 9, subsequent to the release of the Common Entrance Examinations results it disturbed me that all the focus on the numerous pages was placed only on those students passing to the Older Secondary schools, which has been the trend for years.
Barbadians need to realise that not everyone will pass for those schools and acknowledge the accomplishment of the other students, who to society have deemed failures; but have they?
We need to accept that it is also an achievement for some of those children, who have passed for the other newer secondary schools frowned upon such as St Lucy, St George, Parkinson, Springer, St Leonard’s and so on. Some of these children are not even expected to pass the examination furthermore make it into a secondary school. Yet still we are fast to highlight the achievements of St Leonard’s through the Spanish, wood-works and choir programmes and Springer Memorial Secondary School athletics programme, to name a few. 
If children are to be our focus, and if we, as a society continue to crush the spirits of these students, it can place them at a disadvantage, even before they enter this new frontier. It can also have deeper long-term psychological effects.
Balance is needed. We need to see some coverage on these other achievers, such as the embracing by parent and teachers and other well-wishers and realise that academics are not the only form of achievement.
To use the theme for Child month 2010 “Children are the beacons of today, let them shine”. Let’s give them ALL a fighting chance.

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