The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has regretted that a survey it administered to children in Barbados’ secondary school system offended many citizens.
Barbadian media reports that “dozens of parents have demanded that the ‘illegal’ scripts completed by their children be returned to them. The test asked 11-year-old students about topics related to gender and sexuality and also collected information about the student’s parents.
In a brief statement, the IDB said it “sincerely apologizes, but emphasizes that no breach was intentional.
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“The central issues, which the Ministry of Education had objected to prior to the administration of the survey, and which were inadvertently left in the document, have been removed,” the IDB said, adding that it recognized its position as a development partner with the Government of Barbados “with a long and mutually respectful relationship”.
He said he wanted to assure “Barbadians that he would not deliberately engage in any practice that would harm this relationship”.
The Ministry of Education, Technology and Vocational Training has also issued an apology for its role in administering the controversial computer science test.
Chief education officer Dr Ramona Archer-Bradshaw said the department had accepted responsibility for ensuring the test reached first graders in five secondary schools on the island.
“Notwithstanding that the Inter-American Development Bank which administered the survey has already apologized for failing to honor a prior commitment by the department to remove the offending questions before asking the children, the department now offers its own apology. . Dr. Archer-Bradshaw said in a statement.
“Obviously, what happened left us in no doubt that we took too many things for granted by not verifying the final investigation. The Ministry now assures all stakeholders that the offensive scripts will henceforth be destroyed and that there will be no further use of the survey without our explicit and complete review.
“Most importantly, the department already has the process of reforming its own policy on data collection in our schools to ensure incidents like this never happen again,” Archer-Bradshaw said.
The online publication, Barbados TODAY, said it was reliably informed that the “frustrated and disappointed parents” demanded the return of the papers during an online Zoom meeting Thursday evening convened with senior officials from the ministry and the IDB.
The publication said it was reliably informed that several of the parents accepted the director of education’s apology, presented on behalf of the ministry, but argued that they did not allow their children to be asked about information. also sensitive.
“Sources reported that the parents insisted that the Ministry of Education make the scripts available to them.