(Barbados Nation) Professor Joel Warrican says it is an injustice that in the face of trauma from COVID-19 and the ash fall, pupils are still being made to take the Common Entrance examination.
Warrican, the director of the School of Education at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, was critical of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) on its stance with CSEC and CAPE exams as well as Caribbean education ministries’ position on the Common Entrance.
His statement came two days after the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the watchdog for children’s rights, urged Caribbean ministries of education to prevail upon CXC to make changes to the exams so as not to disadvantage students.
The professor said he was reluctant to enter the debate up until that point, stating it was laudable that UNICEF had taken up the cause but pointed out the appeal “may be going to the wrong ears”.
“While persons point to the plight of the secondary school-age students and the perceived injustice being dealt to them by CXC, I believe that they are overlooking another injustice wrought by others in a different quarter.
“And, unfortunately, it is to this quarter that UNICEF is appealing. Here I am speaking of the injustice perpetuated by said ministries of education that, in the face of all the trauma, have still found a way of ensuring that primary school students write the Common Entrance Examination, known by different names in different countries in the region, but the same beast. Ministries of education are finding it convenient and safe for these children to return to in-person classes in schools in this the third term of the academic year so that they can be ‘adequately’ prepared to write this ‘screening’ test,” he said.