Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Parents display 11-Plus jitters


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IT WAS THE PARENTS who felt more anxious as thousands of children sat the annual Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination yesterday.
While some said they were confident in their children’s abilities and would support them at whichever school they ended up attending, others admitted their children were steadier than they were.
“I feel nervous but he’s cool,” said Samantha Nelson-Kirwan of her son Quinn. “I’m just looking forward to this being over and going to the beach.”
Nelson-Kirwan said it was a case of being cool under pressure for her son as she said both of his parents were Harrison College alumni and he wanted to go there as well.
Ronald Williams also said his daughter was more calm then both he and her mother. He said even though it was his second child  taking the exam, he was still excited about it.
Kamal Clarke said his middle child was sitting the exam, adding that he too was the more nervous of the two. He said this exam was but one of many, although he hoped it would soon become a thing of the past.
“It’s all up to them; it’s the beginning of their lives and they will have a lot more exams to face. This is my second daughter sitting the exam, my first went to The St Michael School and my second wants to go there too while my third daughter is five and I hope they get rid of the 11-plus by then because it really puts on a lot of pressure on the children,” he said.
As is the norm, most schools kept parents – some who were there from as early as 7 a.m. – outside the school gates so as to not make the students nervous. This was the case at Queen’s College, Lester Vaughan, Alma Parris, Harrison College, Christ Church Foundation and more.
 Deighton Griffith Secondary allowed parents to wait inside until 8 a.m. while The St Michael School, Alexandra and Coleridge & Parry allowed them to wait inside the compound but only up to a point and under close supervision by security personnel and police.
At Queen’s College, parent Natalie Scott said separating parents and children actually worked against the best interests of the children.
“Honestly, the children were nervous because we couldn’t escort them. I don’t like it, I prefer if we could carry them in,” she said, adding she planned to stay outside the school until the exam was over.
Another woman, who requested anonymity, said she did not mind not being able to walk the children inside but was concerned about how the children who did not have lunch would be able to reconnect with parents outside the compound. She also expressed concern about the absence of bathroom facilities for waiting parents.
At Lester Vaughan, Caroline Drakes said she would have liked to “breeze” in the school’s pavilion while her daughter sat the exam but since they were shut out, she would have to leave in order to get out of the sun. She also added it was her daughter’s birthday. (CA)

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