Ministry of Education plans two more years in school for underachievers

Pupils performing below average could get an extra two years in school as part of the far-reaching reforms formulated by the Department of Education to ensure that no child is left behind.

Director of Education Reform Dr. Idamay Denny made the revelation while contributing to the discussion on the Appropriation Bill, 2022in the House of Assembly on Friday evening.

Pressed by Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Davidson Ishmael on the department’s plans to reduce the number of children being left behind, Denny expressed concern that pupils were not getting not the expected results and that this had to change.

“The schools exist for the students and if the students are not getting the results they expect, we are not doing our job. We have children who go to school for 13 years, who leave schools with little or no certification, and they leave school early – especially our male students – and when they reach the level of fourth, there are significant levels of attrition,” Denny said.

The respected educator lamented that under the current system, teachers and parents are heavily focused on getting primary school children passing an exam to get into what are considered prestigious schools.

“And that means the kids who are not advancing at the same pace, the ones who are not likely to make these schools are the ones who are being left behind,” she said, adding that the ministry will continue with plans to abolish the common entrance exam. and replace it with an output evaluation.

“This exit assessment will focus on whether they have met national performance standards indicating they have satisfactorily completed the primary school curriculum,” Denny explained.

“If they haven’t, then there’s a profile that’s going to be with them through their transition that says that’s what this kid has accomplished and the school at the next level will know that they have to step up. address these students before they can be moved to the next level of programming.

Denny proposed that students get two more years in school, if needed.

“If you’re at the bottom of the continuum, that means that since you’re guaranteed two more years, your teachers can focus on giving you smaller chunks that are more manageable for you, and over that period with those two years additional. years, you will be able to achieve a certain level of certification,” she explained.

Meanwhile, Director of Education Dr Ramona Archer-Bradshaw stressed there must be alternative pathways for students who tend to fall through the cracks.

She noted that Barbados needs to move beyond the exam-oriented society to help children discover their true potential, and that teachers need to be trained to identify certain deficits in students. (SOUTH DAKOTA)

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