LISTEN, IF YOU WANT to see parents catching cold sweats, eating off them finger nails and pulling out them hair, then wait til Tuesday morning, when their children go to sit the Common Entrance Exam.
And even though the Ministry of Education always preach that all schools are the same, cause all them does use the same books and all got good qualified teachers, Bajans ain’t want to hear that. Bajans believe that them got high schools or “good schools”, and duncey schools, and them ain’t want them child gine to no duncey school.
That is why Tuesday morning, when a lot of parents (usually mothers) drop off the children to do the exam, them ain’t leaving. Them gine be outside the exam centres catching cold sweats, and pacing up and down, worrying bout how them child getting through with the exam.
And you should hear some of the conversations out there. For instance, you would hear a parent quarelling and saying, “I hope she remember that de plural of sheep is still sheep and not sheeps, cause up to last night I hear she talking bout sheeps. I even ask she what is de plural of mangoose and she tell me mengeese . . . well at least she get that one right.”
Or you would hear some igrunt parent saying, “I tell he if he don’t get into Harrisons or Queens I gine whitewash he lil backside in blows.”
Or you liable to hear, “well whatever she do is well done for me, them got people who went to high school and ain’t learn nothing, it aint the school you go to, it is what you do when you get there.”
But it is true, they are parents who threaten their children with blows and beat them too if they don’t pass for a “good school”. Which does got the poor child catching the nerves in the exam room and studying the blows them gine get if they don’t do well. Next thing you know, the poor child catch a brain freeze or asthma attack and forget everything it knows.
I telling you, them got a lot of parents who don’t pay any attention to their children’s education til the same week of the exam. They don’t meet with the class teacher when she got meetings, they don’t check to see if the child got home work on evenings or they don’t look through the school books to see how the child doing.
They would let the child watch TV and play video games from morning til night. But suddenly, when they remember that the exam gine be Tuesday, they want to run the child’s blood to water.
Imagine, the same night before the exam, them now got the child learning the difference between, their, there and they, and trying to force-feed the child with multiplication tables.
Let me explain something to you, if your child doesn’t know that two twos are four the night before the exam, chances are, it ain’t gine feel that three threes are a forest on the exam morning.
I ain’t telling no lies, children who all year was only getting biscuit and tea for breakfast on mornings, gine get eggs, cream o’ wheat and fry plantain on exam morning, cause the parents want to make sure the brain is well fed for the exam.
And don’t talk bout when the results come back, well that is another horror story which I will deal with at that time. See ya.