Adamson: Students will not be disadvantaged
Students who were unable to take the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (BSSEE) will not be disadvantaged.
Acting Chief Education Officer Joy Adamson gave that assurance on Wednesday afternoon during a press conference at the St Leonard’s Boys’ School, Richmond Gap, St Michael.
A total of 3 401 pupils – 1 721 boys and 1 680 girls – were scheduled to write the exam today at 22 secondary schools and the Barbados Community College.
During the session, Adamson acknowledged students from at least two schools, including the Reynold Weekes Primary at Four Roads St Philip who were unable to take the examinations because a student tested positive for COVID-19.
She confirmed that arrangements were made for them to take an alternative examination.
“We have some students who are either in quarantine, some students who are either [COVID-19] positive and therefore not available to write the exam. We also have the Reynold Weekes Primary School, where we had to delay those students who were writing the exam because we had a positive case at that school, so those students will be writing on August 11. They will in no way be disadvantaged,” Adamson said.
Earlier this week, principal at Reynold Weekes Primary Anderson Bishop wrote a letter to parents to inform them about the alternative examination.
“Please be informed that a Class 4 student has tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing has already started with select class members. Unfortunately, this contact tracing may not be completed by Wednesday, July 28, 2021,” the letter said.
Meanwhile, Adamson was responding to complaints from some parents who voiced their concerns this week in the media. She said that provisions would be made for other students who were unable to make the August 11 date.
“We might have had students who might [have] had accidents or are ill and they can also write alternative papers as well if they don’t make August 11, because we do have a further date that those persons will be able to write the exam.
“I know yesterday we had quite a few parents calling into some call-in-programmes, saying that they felt the students might be disadvantaged because of the allocation process, but they will not be. They will be in the same pool and the allocations will be done with all the others,” Adamson said.
When asked about administration of the BSSEE at the testing centres, Adamson said although there were a few minor hiccups, they were addressed.
“We had a few persons turn up but their names were not on the registration list, but we amended all of that and those in no way will be disadvantaged. They were allowed to write the examination.
“And so far reports have indicated that there were no major issues at any of the centres. We didn’t have any reports of students falling ill,” Adamson said. (TG)