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Not fair to Lodge and Combermere

Reverend Errington Massiah

Not fair to Lodge and Combermere

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I am normally very supportive of the Minister of Education and Human Resource Development Ronald Jones when he speaks on matters related to education.
But I cannot and will not support him on his recent statement during a Press conference about the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) results. On that occasion he urged two older secondary schools –?Combermere School and The Lodge School to review their performance at sixth form level.
The minister was not fair to those schools, especially when we look at the intake at Common Entrance Examination level.
Harrison College and Queen’s College receive the cream of the students at Common Entrance level – so what do you expect when it comes to Scholarships and Exhibitions?
As a matter of fact, those two schools should achieve more Scholarships and Exhibitions every year.
And yet the media – print and electronic – will carry a headline such as Harrison College And Queen’s College Have Done It Again.
We must take a close look at how the schools are selected by parents or students:
1) Harrison College
2) Queen’s College
3) Combermere
4) St?Michael’s
5) The Lodge School
6) Foundation
Then any other number can play.
The playing field for Combermere and especially The Lodge School is not level and it must be made level before that criticism can be made.
It is going to be very difficult for those schools to gain Scholarships and Exhibitions when the Barbados Community College is there and some students from Combermere and The Lodge School do transfer to that institution.
If Lamar Thornhill had remained at Combermere School and not transferred to Harrison College, there is the possibility that Combermere would have gained a Scholarship or an Exhibition this year.
We must take all the factors into consideration. Those two schools can only work with what they have.
The time is ripe for us to look at the CAPE results not only in terms of Scholarships and Exhibitions but also in terms of the overall results.
Congratulations to all those who gained Scholarships and Exhibitions.