After raising the ire of locals, the Inter-American Development (IDB) has stepped forth to apologise for administering a survey with “concerning” questions to 11 year olds.
The survey which was formulated by an organisation called code.org was presented as a pre-test on Computer Science. It was dispensed to First Form students at secondary schools across the island.
Reports from a Barbadian media house earlier today, October 5, stated that students were questioned about their gender identity, sexuality and thoughts on suicide and depression. This led to interviewed outraged parents detailing the survey as invasive and disturbing. Of most concern to some, was that the minors were asked to write their names on the paper.
In a statement issued tonight, the IDB said “no offence was intended”.
“The Inter-American Development Bank expresses regret that a survey administered by the Bank to children in the Barbados secondary school system has offended many Barbadians. The Bank sincerely apologises, but stresses that no offence was intended,” said the organisation.
The IDB also admitted that it has now followed the advice of the Ministry of Education and removed the questionable questions from the survey. However, they confessed that this ministerial request was omitted and the questions were “inadvertently left in the paper” before administering it locally. “The IDB recognises its position as a development partner with the Government of Barbados, with a long and mutually respectful relationship, and assures Barbadians it would not deliberately engage in any practice that would harm that relationship,” the statement continued.
According to a report online from November 2020, IDB partnered with the non-profit organisation code.org to carryout the regional evaluation in the Caribbean because of the size of the project and intended population.