The International Women’s Resource Network is calling on the Ministry of Education to begin a national conversation on the Secondary Entrance Assessment Examination before it comes again in 2021.
It says though Education Minister, Anthony Garcia, vows that the country is not yet considering abolishing the examination, the time has come for deeper engagement with all stakeholders, if the country is serious about ensuring that every child fits into the education system, based on their skillsets and knowledge.
In a media release the IWRN noted, that based on its work with parents and youths particularly in “at risk” communities, it is evident that a large percentage of students who scored thirty percent and under, were unable to succeed due to a number of factors such as poverty and an overall inability to access resources to assist with their navigation, post-SEA examination.
The IWRN said it also agrees with Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, that asking a child to determine what their life should be like at the age 10 or 11 is unrealistic, and for that reason, the Education Ministry should revisit the structure of the SEA examination sooner rather than later.
It said whilst there is an availability of skills-based programs introduced by the government years ago, the market environment continues to evolve at a rapid pace and therefore, it would be wise to start meaningful engagement with youths within targeted communities to obtain clarity on the needs of those communities that can assist in the creation of programs aligned to the needs of those beneficiaries.