THE EDITOR: I offer some thoughts on the debate surrounding publication of the SEA results.
Having spent the majority of my adult life in this field I believe I have seen my fair share to agree with the Minister of Education that the results be published as this would lend itself to greater transparency and joy for many, though there will be disappointment for others.
In spite of the published results, we have witnessed students passing for a particular school yet turning out in September in uniforms that do not reflect the results. The non-publishing I am afraid would certainly make it easier for influential parents to “tug” the system in favour of their children.
We are witnessing now in the US celebrities charged with paying large sums of money to have their children enrolled in prestige universities without the necessary qualifications. Prosecutors are asking for jail time for these celebrities as the biggest scandal in the history of the American education system unfolds.
Larry Summers, a Harvard Professor of Education, once said there is no such thing as “equality in education.”
The well-to-do will always try to pay their way to have the best books, the best educational equipment and have their children attend the best schools. They will always have the most committed teachers whose absence would not be felt as there is more often than not a replacement teacher in these “prestige” schools.
The denominational secondary schools already have their privileged 20 per cent first intake, that is 40 out of 200 students and that number can swell in Form 2 since the Ministry of Education has no control here. Increased numbers in Form 2 have become a normal practice in some of these schools. A poor student hardly stands a chance of admission to these prestige schools in Form 2 or Form 3.
I certainly agree with the minister that transparency should prevail and that the SEA results be published in the newspapers. There are already too many strange uniforms turning up in September. We should not be making it easier for the well-to-do.
LAURENCE PERCIVAL via e-mail