Monday, June 28, 2004

Bdos: Boys can't handle the Common Entrance jamming

The Common Entrance Exam is a large part of the reason why boys are no longer out-performaning girls in the island’s schools.

And veteran educator and Principal of Coleridge and Parry School, Alwin Adams, said society had to be disabused of the idea that girls always outperformed boys in education.

Reflecting on the good track record of all-boys schools in the past, Adams said: “Traditionally and historically in Barbados boys did better than girls ... In fact, it is the onset of the 11-plus that brought the death knell of the boys in Barbados.”

He made this point while moderating a Coleridge and Parry Old Scholars Association/Mens Educational Support Association (MESA) discussion on the effects of the education system on male students. The discussion took place at the University of the West Indies Saturday night.

Panellist Anthony Walrond of MESA said the exam set the framework which continued throughout the secondary schools with the top pupils, who were usually girls, being cared for while others, usually boys, were left behind as unworthy.
In looking at how the trend could be reversed, both educators suggested major revamping of the present education system including doing away with the 11-plus, re-instituting more single sex male schools, and reducing the both primary and secondary schools to a more manageable size.

Adams noted that research showed the ideas behind the establishment of the 11-plus exam were “bogus”, having been devised by English education consultant Sir Cyril Burt in the 1940s to perpetuate an intellectual elitism.
Time for reform.


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