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Secondary School to be replaced by Academies – Barbados

A proposal that outlines the assessment system to replace the Common Entrance Examination, specifies how students will transition from primary school from September next year, and reveals a new structure at the island’s secondary schools, is due to go before Parliament within a few weeks.

Director of Education Reform in the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Dr Idamay Denny made the disclosure on Friday during discussion on the 2022/2023 Estimates in the House of Assembly where she was questioned about the plan for abolishing the examination which has been described by some in the education fraternity as an outdated system of assessment.

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Denny said the end was near for the exams, properly named the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examinations (BSSEE), and a full document outlining the upcoming changes was scheduled to reach the House in a matter of weeks.

She said the end of the controversial exams will also usher in a new structure in the island’s secondary schools, which will be aimed at providing better support to students who wish to thrive in a variety of areas outside the usual subjects.

“We are proposing a change in the secondary structure. We are proposing that we have two levels being called Junior Academies at the lower school level – that is, first to third forms – and Academies of Excellence at the upper school level that will encompass what is now fourth and fifth forms,” Denny said, adding that all students would get an additional two years in school, not just those writing the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

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“That second structure called the Academy of Excellence will be a four-year programme.”

Denny further explained that under the Ministry’s proposal, placement in Junior Academies would be based on “identification of the junior academies in a particular catchment, and then having primary schools feed into those junior academies”.

“When it comes to transitioning from the Junior Academies to the Academies of Excellence, we have identified a number of inputs that we want to see made in order to transition students to the Academy of Excellence that is most appropriate for them,” she said.

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The senior education official said students’ skillsets, passions, and other strengths will all be taken into consideration before they are transitioned to the academies which will offer a variety of core subjects geared at helping students hone the necessary skills to function in the modern job market.

Secondary level Being replaced by Academy system  Barbados Today


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