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Vandals target Westbury Primary School

Westbury Primary School has been vandalised multiple times over the past year and principal Rosalind Gittens is pleading with the relevant authorities to look into the matter.

She made the call on Tuesday during the school’s graduation service at St Leonard’s Anglican Church held under the theme Tomorrow Belongs To Those Who Prepare Today.

“Now, with every rose there is a thorn and with every good there is bad. During the year, we had some low points. We are constantly being faced with vandalism. Our school fence was removed from the pasture so now we have to keep the little ones inside because people took it upon themselves to take away all the fencing.

“They jump the school gate, they come in [and] vandalise the plant pots. They write obscene things on the school walls [and] they urinate on the corridors. So we have been faced with these low points,” Gittens lamented.

“When we had a garden, they would steal some of the produce from the garden. We were unable to use the pasture because they put sheep on the pasture. They build a block on the pasture. They dump the garbage on the pasture. So we have been battling this and we are still battling with this and we are still appealing for help with these matters.”

While this is happening, Gittens said, construction work was undergoing at the school to make it a Category 1 hurricane shelter.

Meanwhile, delivering the feature address, Minister of State in the Office of the Attorney General with responsibility for Crime Prevention, Corey Lane, shared his views about the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination, commonly referred to as the 11-plus or Common Entrance Exam.

He said he agreed with it being abolished as one exam should not determine the fate of children.

“Unfortunately, we have a system in this country that puts so much emphasis on this exam and it becomes – and it shouldn’t be – the most important exam that you take. Now, hopefully we are in a position to change that very soon because I do not believe that at 11 years old you should be making decisions so important that it determines the rest of your future,” Lane said.

The Member of Parliament for the City of Bridgetown impressed upon the students, however, that each one of them had the potential to lead a successful life and it did not matter what secondary school they attended.

“There’s something called personal responsibility; personal responsibility meaning that you still have all the tools, regardless of where you go, to perform and to perform with excellence . . . . Schools are different based on input . . . but once you get to that school, once you reach that institution, once you cross that gate and enter into the door, I tell you this – all of these schools have the same chairs to sit in, they have the same tests, they have the same teachers that went to the same schools that have the same brains. They have the same syllabi, they have the same timelines. Eight hours at one school is eight hours at another school. They have the same exam period. So, in other words, the only factor that will make a difference is what you do,” he said.

Thirty-three children graduated from Westbury Primary School.


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