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LAST WEEK, the adult fates of 18,000 children were settled in one morning by the Secondary Entrance Assessment examination. In sympathy with those little ones who will grow up to find that the only way they can put their hands on a BMW or an Audi is to wash it for someone else, I began my own Sixties Entrance Exam last Friday, with the maths section of the last Newsday practice test. Today, I tackle the “Language Arts” in the hope that I have some; apparently, we do “Language Arts” and not “English” because we learn English as a second language, after “obscene”, “gutter”, “slang” and “we doesn’t give a firetruck, boy, haul yuh mama and yuh grammar.”Read more
YESTERDAY, in a single morning, the rest of the lives of the 18,000-odd children who sat the Secondary Entrance Assessment examination was decided. For the vast majority who will not in September enter a “prestige school” – which, in Trinidad, means one where you see your teacher more often in class than in the club and your classmates do not leave you in a coma when they take your lunch money – yesterday was the last day of innocence, but at least it didn’t result in a custodial sentence.Read more
YESTERDAY, 18,000-plus children of Trinidad & Tobago sat the biggest exam of their little lives, the Secondary Entrance Assessment, the new name for the old 11-Plus exam that itself had the same old effect as the “exhibition” exams of the 1950s: for the vast majority who will not enter a “prestige school” – which, in Trinidad, means one where the teachers turn up more often than not and students are only robbed at knifepoint near the weekend, when their classmates need money for clubbing – yesterday was the last chance they had of ever having a “life of the mind”; sad, as the Jackass-in-Chief might tweet.