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Call to repeat 2020 academic year in Bahamas


Call to repeat 2020 academic year in Bahamas
Belinda Wilson (Internet image)

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Nassau – The Ministry of Education is being urged to repeat the 2020 education year based on the results of this year’s national examination results.

In a recent statement, the president of the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT), Belinda Wilson made the recommendation and pointed to the exam results that saw a decline in 2020 when compared to 2019.

According to Wilson, the education system has continually failed the children of The Bahamas.

“I strongly recommend that the Ministry of Education stop, review, cancel, pause and consider students having the opportunity to repeat the 2020 school year and that the social promotion practices cease forthwith. It is so sad, but true – the educational system has failed the children of this nation over and over and over.

The head of the union stated that the results from the local examinations were not surprising.

“From the onset I advocated for the sitting of the exams to be cancelled and that the students be awarded predicted grades. If this method was used, as it was used in the United Kingdom and in 160 countries and 10 000 institutions, then 100 per cent of our students would have received grades.

“Then today, the Ministry of Education would not be lamenting the fact that the number of candidates that sat the exams was substantially lower than 2019.

“I contend that 2021 exam results will be even worse and participation even less than 2020, because the students this year have had so many interruptions with an inoperable and inadequate virtual platform. . . . . Most schools are behind schedule,” Wilson said.

In the statement, Wilson noted that the grades awarded in local examinations declined by 21.68 per cent.

“So with these dismal results and the acknowledgement of the inadequacies of the virtual platform, I ask the following questions: What changes have been put in place to ensure that the 2021 exams will not be a repeat of 2020? What policies will be adopted based on the data from these exam results?”

She lamented that students who received very low grades – such as E, F and U – “will not get jobs and will not get accepted into colleges and universities with those grade”.

“But I ask again, are there any plans for the students to retake these examinations under more conducive circumstances? I know that there are no plans for students to repeat the 2020 school year.” (CMC)