THE EDITOR, Sir:
Is it fair to assess the performance of schools purely on the basis of their results in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations?
Education is a preparation for living. The passing of an examination is only one aspect of the educational process.
How well a school is performing in preparing students for living cannot be judged by the number of passes at CSEC. Rather, it must be judged by how well it is preparing students to be good citizens. Certain aspects of this preparation cannot be measured.
There are a number of other factors which make the placement unfair. The schools at the top get the brightest students, and the non-traditional high schools are given the weakest students. The brightest students are generally sent to elite schools.
Better physical facilities for learning are found in some schools. Socio-economic factors impact on student learning. The poorer parents have serious challenges in providing for their children.
Placement of this nature is a disservice to education. The majority of society has the perception that non-traditional high schools are not suitable institutions for children. What this placement does is add fuel to this perception.
There is no way of measuring the development of desirable attitudes in children, which is part of preparing them to become good citizens.
LINDEN D. NEIL
President, Retired Teachers'
Kingston and St Andrew