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MAVIS BECKLES: Not all stress in the 11-Plus

Andrew Browne, [email protected]

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I KNOW THIS TOPIC get beat ’bout a whole lot a’ready, and as a matter o’ fact, it does get more and more blows evah single year when this time come around. But I gine tell ya something now, it does be really interesting listening tuh different people talk and air duh views ‘pon the 11-Plus each year.
Now evahbody know ’bout the amount o’ stress dat some parents does put duh poor li’l children through when the time come fuh dem tuh do the exam.
Then the amount o’ stress some parents does put teachers under when the time coming up fuh the exam. Another thing is the amount o’ stress some parents does put duh very selves under – and fuh wha’, nuh?
Some parents does spend a whole lot o’ money in fees, driving up and down week after week tuh get duh children tuh lessons in order fuh dem tuh do or outdo duhselves when the exam day come.
Then duh got another set o’ parents who does stupidly either stop duh children, or threaten tuh stop duh children from participating in all the extra curriculum activities dat they do if duh doan sit down and study all the time.
Now, on the day of the actual exam while there are some parents who will plan some kind o’ business tuh do either in town or close by while their children go into the exam room fuh dem few hours, duh got another set who does insist on hanging ’round the people windows and doors talking a whole lot o’ junk and distracting the li’l children, or making dem uncomfortable.
Now, I know ya’ all would have heard all o’ this sort o’ thing before, but ya know wha’? I come along and hear the old people saying dat the more things change, the more duh remain the same, and um is true, true, true.
Look, fuh years now all kind o’ people have been giving their views, opinions and suggestions on the 11-Plus exam and up until now, after listening tuh evah sort o’ body talk, I think I like this one the best.
I sat down the other day in a salon where there was a heated discussion bout this exam; it was the same day dat duh had all the children who scored top marks, or the ones who did exceptionally well.
I listen tuh a lot o’ women talking ’bout what they thought about the exam, if it should be done or how it should be done fuh dat matter, and one woman said emphatically dat she always felt dat the exam should not just be based ‘pon one day’s performance alone, dat it should be based on term work at least, and then dat exam tuh top it off. So dat all the emphasis or decision making won’t be based ‘pon dat exam alone.
Confused and jittery
She said dat duh got some children who nuh matter how bright dem is all during the school year, somehow hearing exam, and duh does get all confused and jittery.
Another one of the women said dat she agreed ’cause transferring from one school tuh the next, primary tuh secondary, or the type o’ school should not be based pon only one day’s performance alone.
She said duh got children who are naturally bright and consistent all during their years at primary school, but come dat big day and wid parents who trying tuh get dem tuh do wha’ dem duhselves ain’t do, they does go in dat exam room and do a fair amount o’ foolishness, making all kinds o’ careless mistakes just because duh cahn really handle all the lot o’ stress at this stage in duh lives.
Then another woman chimed in and said dat she knew of children who were average students who were barely making 50 or 60 per cent all during the year and ya always had tuh be quarrelling wid dem tuh do better, and come the exam time and they shine like stars.
Then they started talking ’bout the children who does be doing some o’ all kinds o’ sports and who ain’t had all the time tuh let duh minds get slow or lazy; dat dem is the ones who does just come through wid flying colours.
I have tuh say dat I agree wid dem but ya know how um is, we could talk all we want, um is still up tuh the authorities tuh put things in place tuh ease some o’ the stress off the children.
In the meantime, let me say congratulations tuh all the children who did the exam and are now moving on tuh secondary school; and a special congratulations tuh the children who were outstanding this year.
Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans and has an opinion on everything.