Last update: 06-Dec-2013 8:12 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Good results for prestige school expected
I read the comments of principals who had students winning a lot of the scholarships this year, as they do every year with amusement, and I have a question: What other result do they, or anyone else expect? Based on the SEA results students are placed in secondary schools. Every year the same schools get the cream of the crop, the students who make over 90 per cent in the exam. When scholarships are awarded, journalists then write headlines like, “Government secondary schools continue to lag behind... with denominational schools taking the lion’s share of scholarships.” This is so hypocritical. Those schools got the top performing students in the first place.
An interesting experiment to test if it is the schools or the students they get, that makes the difference, would be to send the students making 50 per cent in the SEA exam next year to these “prestige” schools. Do you think they would be awarded any scholarships in six years? If the students scoring over 90 per cent are placed in the so-called “low performing secondary schools” what would be their results in six years? I have a feeling that this hypothesis will not be tested. The Ministry of Education places students in schools based on their SEA score, so certain schools always get students scoring 40 per cent, for example. It is time to stop unfairly labelling secondary schools and speak the truth that every teacher and any sensible person already knows. “Prestige” schools have been so named because they got the best performing students based on the SEA results. If they did not get most of the scholarships that would be cause for concern. So please, stop the unnecessary charade.
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