Grade Average Is Unfair To Bright Students Mr. Education Minister
When this picture was taken on 1 September at the Akphran International Academy in Fox Hill, that same morning a headline appeared in the press saying that yet again the average grade of the people taking the BGCSE exams turned out to be D. It was picture of doom and gloom for The Bahamas. You wouldn’t have known it that morning. The picture the newspapers have was a false one. The students in the picture were among some of the speakers that morning. Their English was flawless. One of them wanted to be an English teacher. Their manner impeccable. Their ambitions were obvious. They seemed bright and articulate. It is therefore something to wonder about: whether this constant drumbeat about the average being D for national exam results is not a disadvantage to these youngsters who do well and certainly seem to have their lives well directed. Averages are good for some things. One supposes that it’s a general indicator of the health of a system but it is not a proper diagnostic about the state of the individual in the system and the ability of the system to renew, refresh, and invigorate itself with new and fresh talent. In addition, not everyone is going to fit into the BGSCE exam mode. It reminded us of the GDP per capita argument that successive governments have made about The Bahamas and the unfairness of the measure of the wealth and development level of The Bahamas. It is often described in the Robinson Crusoe problem. Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday are on an island. Robinson Crusoe is worth one billion dollars and Friday is worth a dollar. What is the GDP per capita of that island? Answer is 500 million and fifty cents. Except Robinson Crusoe has one billion dollars and Friday has only a dollar. So to transfer that to the current situation in education, the students that spoke that morning must feel very put off by the fact that they are being called slow, dumb and ineffectual when they see these dreadful headlines about D average. D average does not describe them and we think that maybe some other measure must be invented to more accurately describe what is happening, actually happening in our education system.