What Crazy Looks Like – The Common Entrance Exam

“This island needs and was built on the contribution of many more than just those who scored within 90th percentile on the CEE.”… Blogger Eemanee talks about the Common Entrance Exam on her post 11 And Not Quite Ready.

I don’t want to remember my “difficult” times in school, but I couldn’t stay away from a good read at What Crazy Looks Like blog.

33 Comments

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33 responses to “What Crazy Looks Like – The Common Entrance Exam

  1. Bajanboy

    This blog has an link to a map which shows where their visitors come from. BFP, I wonder where your visitors come from?

    http://www2.clustrmaps.com/counter/maps.php?url=http://eemanee.blogspot.com

  2. She is very good, mentioned her too at BR… Listen, sorry to bother you all, but has anyone found the Internet PAINFULLY slow?

    I allegedly have ADSL but I think dial-up would outstrip a snail or what connection I am getting now!

    Hitting SUBMIT with crossed fingers to avoid a time-out now….

  3. True Native

    Yes, Ian. I also have High Speed Internet (ADSL) and I am finding it slower than dial-up was. I’m very disappointed.

  4. Hacked!!!!!

    You’re hacked.
    Go to lavasoft, download adware and sweep.
    This happens to BFP readers all de time.
    You are now an official risk!
    Congrats.

  5. True Native

    WHAT?? Impossible! I have an up-to-date firewall and anti-virus. You mean that can’t protect me?

  6. Anonymous

    C&Wireless’ alleged ADSL service sucks!
    I’m hearing grumblings and complaints from many many people about its spottiness. Sometimes it rips, but more often than not it simply sucks!
    People are switching, in frustration (It’s called FreeMotion).
    C&W needs to get off their tush and SOLVE the problem!!but they’re still pretty much shooting fish in a barrel, aren’t they! not a lot has changed

  7. Anonymous

    Hacked..what?! I run this machine tight and clean,have both Adaware and SpyBot in here and keep updated, nuff scanning en ting. C&W ADSL is simply slow like molasses going uphill backwards(unless it’s 3 in the morning)-I hear men downloading movies BigTime hogging up bandwidth

  8. Hacked!!!!!

    I’m finding a problem on mine many days, and it gets real slow. After sweeping and removing the objects then it runs OK again.
    I’m not an expert, but what could it be?

  9. Laughable

    Could it be simply Cable & Wireless’ shoddy service?

  10. C&W.

    Cable & Wireless ADSL service is particularly bad NORTH OF BRIDGETOWN, up in St.Thomas,etc.

  11. Technician

    I posted some reasons some time ago…so I will do it again.
    No matter how much speed you apply for at C&W,the reality is that if you cable pair is faulty ,ADSL will BE slow (like molasses).
    Sorry to tell you this Ian but as a friend I should,your residential area has the second oldest cable plant in the island.
    To give you an idea of how old it is ,think about this….the telephone was introduced to Barbados about 5 years after it was invented.
    Do not be fooled by new poles and cable being put up ,the problem is the underground feed which links your area directly with Windsor Lodge exchange.
    A hum on your line is a grounded cable pair,after 5 min of conversation,you might ignore it but ADSL cant take any insults.Most of the signal you are paying for will go to earth instead to your modem.
    Also your distance from your respective exchange plays a vital role.Signal loss is greater over long distances and even though they are ways to rectify some of these issues like expanders and so,the main problem comes from the splices and connections along the route,these bad splices and faulty connections compounded with the fact that your distance is barely within the recommended limit helps to slow down or terminate your connection.
    For those of you who are considering Freemotion,remember……..at the end of it all ,the only company that can get you access to the internet is C&W.No matter which ISP you chose in Barbados,the end result is that you have to go through C&W.

  12. Lady Anon

    Crap…I just wrote some really good stuff and it was lost….will have to gather my thoughts again.

    However, on a blog about education, the majority of posts are about how slow ADSL is.

  13. Lady Anon

    I read the blog…I think some interesting points were made…not new points, but interesting. The concern I have is that very few people who critique the common entrance examination offer alternatives to the examination.

    It is difficult (but not impossible) to use the American model of transfer from elementary (primary) to junior high (forms 1 – 3) to high school (forms 4 – 6). But if you look at our secondary school plant, almost all the schools are located on the west side of the island…with the exception of The Lodge, Grantley Adams Memorial, CCFoundation, St. Lucy Secondary and Princess Margaret.

    Even the schools like St George Secondary, Alleyne, Deighton Griffith are located on the west side of their respective parishes!

    Unless you have an even distribution of schools within the parishes, the transfer from primary to secondary will be problematic.

    I agree that the current system marks of elitism, but I suggest that along with the criticisms, possible solutions should be offered as well.

  14. John

    What is wrong with encoraging gifted children to excel from as early as possible?

    Our difficulty really is that “noblesse oblige” has disappeared and very few people on their own will observe the obligation which comes from “To whom much is given, much is required.”

    I am not arguing for elitism as it exists now and is based more on money and political favour, rather for simple brought upsy where someone who is priveleged in youth feels obligated to earn and deserve that privelege.

    Without privelege we end up like a flock of sheep, plenty willing to take responsibility, …… but few willing to live up to its obligations.

  15. Anonymous

    Freemotion has had its own uplink to the outside world, for about 1.5 yrs. now.
    It used to be that simply-everyone HAD to get ‘out’ thru C&W, but I assure you that FreeMotion has its own uplink! They got out of the C&W Ransom Mode some time ago!

    ALL connections exchange-to-exchange are now fibre optics. I’m lucky: I happen to live in Ch.Ch.,and my road has fibre -optics all along there,and even into my residential area…so I truly have only about 400-500yds. of copper wire, twixt me and The Sweet Stuff (copper wire is what slows it down). But even so, this Tues. morning, C&W has ‘issues’ with ADSL.

    If you are some distance away from your nearest exchange(and fibre optics) God help you. A UK friend tells me that the max. distance a TelCo. will offer you ADSl, along the copper wire route to your house, is something like 5-6 kms. no more.
    Distances exceeding that are simply not worth it. so find yourself as close as possible to an Exchange and the fibre optics.
    Example ..Coach House in St.James should have absolutely RIPPING ADSL, coz they have a small tel.exchange right next door!!…so they are no more than 50 yds.(tops?) from the sweet stuff.
    Do they have rooms to rent??

  16. S.Gooding

    technician:

    At the risk of further turning a debate/discussion on education into a technical forum — to the best of my knowledge freemotion should have their connectivity provisioned through Telebarbados — who in turn should be independent of C&W since they are using their own transatlantic fibre.

  17. Technician

    S.Gooding
    One quick note:
    My apologies.Freemotion IS independent now that they have merged with Telebarbados,that was my mistake, it is the other ISP to which I should have refered.
    Maybe BFP can create a forum for this topic.Once again……sorry.

  18. Lady Anon

    John…I agree with encouraging gifted children to excel as early as possible. No question. The concern about the 11+ is that it is a one-shot test, and everyone has a bad day. And for a gifted student to have a bad day on the day of the 11+ would be shameful.

    But, on the other hand…there are a few teachers who fall into the trap of the label…I had an encounter with a teacher who was bemoaning the school she taught at and was basically painting all the students with a “dumb” brush.

    I reminded her that every student has a bad day and within her “dumb” bunch maybe a student who is not challenged, who is not motivated because of her attitude.

    Every student can and will learn…

  19. Karl Marx

    John asks a question, and makes a statement

    1. What is wrong with encouraging gifted children to excel from as early as possible?

    2. Without privilege we end up like a flock of sheep, plenty willing to take responsibility,
    …… but few willing to live up to its obligations.

    —————-
    Addressing 1.
    John…The Great Socialist Ideal is to render Society as one big mushy malleable mess.
    Easily controlled. All ‘equal’, as much as is possible, even if we need to force them to be equal.

    Addressing 2.
    “Ending up like a flock of sheep” is exactly what the Great Socialist Ideal aims for (apart from the superior Politburo).
    – exactly the way Socialist Governments would like us to be.
    (Barbados fancies itself a Socialist Society,despite its obvious failings, and its decidedly Ugly-Capitalist present Government)
    They want us as Automatons, to follow orders.
    Do as we say, not as we do. Sound familiar? 1984-ish?

    And incidentally, in The Great Socialist Ideal, Responsibilities have no accompanying Obligations.
    Life should be (ideally) one big Plus, with lotsa benefits and cool stuff, lotsa ‘rights’ but with no responsibilities.
    We The Government, shall “look after You,The People” from the cradle to the grave.

    Read Lenin’s STATE AND REVOLUTION (Bookshop, UWI, Cave Hill)
    and be filled with magnificent idealism( as I was)…the theory works, were it not for Humanity and the pesty tendency for individuals to NOT “be created equal”,
    and for some to excel, and for some to fall behind(Nature’s way…the strong and the weak: big deal).

    You see John, when we embraced Socialism, we took it seriously! Like it could and would really work out.
    It hasn’t, and probably never will. Not in our lifetimes.
    —————

    Getting back to this business of “All men are created Equal”…
    who penned this thought?
    It was the white American male Framers Of The USA Constitution.
    These white men owned decidedly-“inferior” black male slaves(no WAY were they created equal!!)
    – and yet they came up with this BS about All(white?) men are created equal,
    never mind I’m retarded, and you are beyond-genius..we are all “created equal.”

    Make sense John? No..I didn’t think so.

    Methinks what they really intended to MEAN, but couldn’t articulate.. was something more like
    All men are entitled to Equal Rights and Opportunities
    but that, Dear John, is one heckuva long way away,linguistically, from the patently silly “All men are created equal” thing they came up with.

    Sorry bout the rant, but maybe it’ll strike a few common sense chords, somewhere.

  20. Anonymous

    John asks a question, and makes a statement

    1. What is wrong with encouraging gifted children to excel from as early as possible?

    2. Without privilege we end up like a flock of sheep, plenty willing to take responsibility,
    …… but few willing to live up to its obligations.

    —————-
    Addressing 1.
    John…The Great Socialist Ideal is to render Society as one big mushy malleable mess.
    Easily controlled. All ‘equal’, as much as is possible, even if we need to force them to be equal.

    Addressing 2.
    “Ending up like a flock of sheep” is exactly what the Great Socialist Ideal aims for (apart from the superior Politburo).
    – exactly the way Socialist Governments would like us to be.
    (Barbados fancies itself a Socialist Society,despite its obvious failings, and its decidedly Ugly-Capitalist present Government)
    They want us as Automatons, to follow orders.
    Do as we say, not as we do. Sound familiar? 1984-ish?

    And incidentally, in The Great Socialist Ideal, Responsibilities have no accompanying Obligations.
    Life should be (ideally) one big Plus, with lotsa benefits and cool stuff, lotsa ‘rights’ but with no responsibilities.
    We The Government, shall “look after You,The People” from the cradle to the grave.

    Read Lenin’s STATE AND REVOLUTION (Bookshop, UWI, Cave Hill)
    and be filled with magnificent idealism( as I was)…the theory works, were it not for Humanity and the pesty tendency for individuals to NOT “be created equal”,
    and for some to excel, and for some to fall behind(Nature’s way…the strong and the weak: big deal).

    You see John, when we embraced Socialism, we took it seriously! Like it could and would really work out.
    It hasn’t, and probably never will. Not in our lifetimes.
    —————

    Getting back to this business of “All men are created Equal”…
    who penned this thought?
    It was the white American male Framers Of The USA Constitution.
    These white men owned decidedly-“inferior” black male slaves(no WAY were they created equal!!)
    – and yet they came up with this BS about All(white?) men are created equal,
    never mind I’m retarded, and you are beyond-genius..we are all “created equal.”

    Make sense John? No..I didn’t think so.

    Methinks what they really intended to MEAN, but couldn’t articulate.. was something more like
    All men are entitled to Equal Rights and Opportunities
    but that, Dear John, is one heckuva long way away,linguistically, from the patently silly “All men are created equal” thing they came up with.

    Sorry bout the rant, but maybe it’ll strike a few common sense chords, somewhere.

  21. David

    All people are entitled anonymous, not just men; let us be clear. Nowadays we have to extrapolate you anonymous. You are not the be all, since both you and I are finite. So it becomes dust and planks.

    What is right one age, changes the next. Still glad they wrote those words, even if they didn’t know any better, because of what they were taught.

    It is the underlying principle that we take the lessons from.

    I wish to talk education. 11 plus children spend 5 years of their lives cramming math and english. These are formative years, and it is possibly arguable that during these years better could be done.

    After 11 plus streaming in secondary schools made me choose between eg Spanish and Geography. I wanted both; and had to choose (Geography). Result: no hablo.

    There is a new system that is one that can be run parallel to regular curricula, while teaching and allowing children to learn to be inquirers, to be world citizens, and to think boldly, artistically, scientifically; rather than to obey, and learn by rote:

    http://www.ibo.org

    We have one such school in Barbados, and there is a ‘school’ of thought that will write that it is arguably a better way to create a better citizen.

    Our children at age 8 can be taught to consider the evils of history as above, and to choose right, and to choose life; but we are ramming english and math?

    So now at age 997 we learn on the blogs! It could have been faster, wouldn’t you say?

    Wait and see what THEY will do.

  22. Lady Anon

    David…

    Will review the information…however, the one school that follows the IBO programme is a private one, is it not? And don’t believe for one moment I am knocking its existance…I am glad that the option is available if only to a few because of the limited space and perhaps limited budgets.

    However, one correction to your comment. Primary school children do not spend 5 years cramming math and english…the primary school curriculum is wide and varied…including math, english, reading, social sciences, integrated science, some schools even do spanish etc.

    So, in actual fact, they only spend 1 1/2 years cramming math and english…1/2 of the class 3 year and all of the class 4…at least up to May when the common entrance exam is.

    And again, it goes back to the type of system we have where we end up “teaching to the test” and not just teaching.

    I agree that a well rounded education where children are able to explore and progress at their own pace and not at the pace of the bureaucrats and the other stakeholders in education.

  23. David

    Hi Lady A

    Thank you. Yes, it is private, and thanks for the corrections.

    Do we follow the curricula in the primary schools scrupulously? I’m all for a better way towards a better individual.

    If http://www.ibo.org could be introduced to all schools, then why not? I like the way it sets out a means to work lessons into the curriculum; eg learning maths while doing history, or art while doing science, etc.

    And they have a degree program that links into tertiary, once the school is qualified.

  24. Lady Anon

    Our government was/is pushing a constructivist classroom where children (supposedly) learn by doing. But many teachers cry out that it is not possible due to constraints in space and resources.

    Link to definition and comparison of constructivist vs traditional for all who are interested: http://online.sfsu.edu/~foreman/itec800/finalprojects/eitankaplan/pages/classroom.htm

    On reviewing the IBO…I like the format, but the main problem with the educational system in Barbados is that the “powers that be” are still in late 19th, early 2oth century thinking and have not yet moved forward to the 21st century.

    Inability to change or to explore new ideas will be the continued downfall of our educational system.

    Explain to me, how a school which receives the lower 30% of those who sit the 11+ follow the same syllabus as those schools which receive the top 30%?

    A larger number of our population than we are willing to admit are functionally illiterate and we need to do something about it.

  25. Michele

    David & Lady A,

    I do know of the school your talking about as I just paid for my daughter to go there, when we move there.

    I know nothing of public schools in Barbados but I was thinking of moving her to one after a year.

    On what you guys know do you think that is a good idea? You see I ask as I have been trying to make my mind up about it.

    Do you not think that the kids in the public schools don’t do as well as the private and if so why do you think it is?

    Even though I can pay the fees for this school it is the most expensive one and I wonder what is the point after all it’s only primary school.

  26. Lady Anon

    Michele

    I actually believe that the children in public primary schools do just as well as those in private.

    I think it is the level of involvement in the children’s education that is the most important…that is, reading with the child, being able to help with homework, setting restrictions on play time vs school work, being involved in the child’s school and activities, etc.

    I would suggest that when you move here, take some time to go around to some of the primary schools and see what they are like. Ask the principal for permission to sit in a class around your child’s age and see what takes place.

    It wouldn’t hurt.

  27. David

    Michele
    I am conflicted.
    David.

  28. Michele

    Lady Anon,

    I would do as you said and check a few schools out, I did have 2 in mind that are close to where I would be living.

    You see I like the small class numbers at these 2 schools but what little I have seen they have a few problems. So in some ways it made me afraid to find out anything more, and I took the safe way out.

    As you said I will know more when I get there and look around. Thanks.

  29. Michele

    David

    I know how you feel.

  30. Lady Anon

    Michele

    No school has everything you are looking for…but this is a decision only you can make.

    Best of luck.

  31. John

    … Karl Marx came from a priveleged background!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx#Education

    So maybe we shoud do away with privelege!!

    Not really!! I think the point is that the generation of ideas is more likely if you aren’t starving and fighting for survival.

    Privelege is important because it more readily permits original thinkers to think.

    So Marx had a bad day and ended up with an idea that didn’t work in the long term but went down in flames 100 years on.

    We need to see what other original thinkers since then have come up with and more importantly to allow them to think.

    We can’t hold our breath’s waiting for our governments to come up with another original thought?

  32. John

    Interestingly, Marx was educated at home!!

  33. Blogarithm

    I don’t agree that socialism didn’t work, John. We have simply integrated it into liberal thinking. Surley we’d all hate to be ruled by a dictator in a one party state, as was the case in Barbados in 2020.