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Gonsalves looking for answers on Common Entrance

Gonsalves looking for answers on Common Entrance


Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is searching for answers as to why some schools do better than others in the Common Entrance Examinations.{{more}}

Gonsalves, who is the parliamentary representative for North Central Windward, said each year, when the Ministry of Education sends him the results of the Common Entrance Exams, he pays particular attention to the performance of the schools in his constituency.

He said he is given four envelopes containing the results by the Ministry. One of these envelopes contains the analysis of the results, and this is the one he opens first.

The other three, he said, are “big, thick envelopes”, which give the results in alphabetical order; in order of performance; and broken down by school.

“I am usually interested in, seeing the spread of the schools in the first twenty, so I would look at the performance order,” he said.

The prime minister disclosed that the analysis he is most interested in, after looking at which schools appear in the first twenty, is how the schools in his constituency have performed.

In an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, June 21, the Prime Minister said he asks himself why is it that two schools in the same geographic area, with students coming from the same socio-economic conditions, have very different results.

He used the examples of the Georgetown Government School and the Langley Park Government, which are located less than half a mile from each other.

“Why is it that Georgetown has students in the top ten, top twenty, year after year, and performs in terms of the overall results, way above the national average and Langley Park performs way below?”

“I am still trying to find answers,” he disclosed.

“Why is Park Hill (Government School) and South Rivers (Government School), in the same social, geographic area, the teachers are from the same social milieu, the parents, everybody, why is it that Park Hill performs at or above the national average, and South Rivers way below the national average?” he queried.

The Prime Minister said the physical conditions which had existed at the Byrea Anglican School (now the Pamelus Burke Government School) had been given as the reason for that school’s poor performance in the eleven plus exam.

A new school has been built, but the parliamentary representative has not seen the results he desires.

“Why is it the results show no marked improvement over before? You remove that factor which was a glib one, and when you remove that, you look at the trend, and it is a little better, but to tell you the truth, not significantly better,” he lamented.