Grenada’s CSEC performance above regional average

Officials from the Caribbean Examination Council with Minister for Education Hon. Emmalin Pierre and Minister (with Responsibility for Tertiary Education, Skill Development & Educational Outreach: Hon. Pamela Moses

by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • CAPE and CSEC results available 12 and 16 August
  • In Grenada, 67% attained acceptable Grades I to III compared to a Regional 63% in CSEC
  • Grenada attained 82% acceptable CAPE grades compared to region’s 87%
  • Music, dance and performing arts in high demand, rarely get students writing exams

As of 12 August, the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) results are available for students to access online. The Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) results will be available on 16 August 2018.

In their overall assessment of the results of both examinations sat in June, the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) noted a considerable overall improvement in the performance of students in Grenada and the region.

During the presentation of results on Friday, CXC announced that of the more than 60,000 candidates doing 5 or more CSEC subjects regionally, Grenada’s performance was above the regional average for CSEC and below the regional average for CAPE:

CAPE: 82% attained acceptable Grades I to V compared to a Regional 87%
There were 11 Units in which 100% of candidates in Grenada attained acceptable Grades I to V.

CSEC: 67% attained acceptable Grades I to III compared to a Regional 63%

Despite seeing an overall improved performance of 90% in most subjects, Mathematics and English Language continue to pose a challenge with a pass rate of just over 60%.

Senior Manager of the Examination Development and Production Division, Alton McPherson presented the results at the Charter Hall, at St George’s University Campus on Friday, 10 August.

“Cape Pure Mathematics Unit 1: Grenada’s performance was lower when compared with the region, 63% attained acceptable grades 1 to 5 compared to regional 71%. Therefore, this just means that you have some work to do. For CSEC results, Grenada’s performance was overall better when compared with the region – 67% attained acceptable grades 1 to 3 compared to a regional 63%. For English A: Grenada’s performance was marginally lower when compared to the region – 66% attained 1 to 3 when compared to regional 69%. Mathematics: Grenada’s performance was lower than the region, 39% attained grades 1 to 3 when compared to regional 49%.”

CXC Registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch in his remarks noted with concern the high number of students who do not receive passes in any subject areas.

“We have over 11,000 candidates who took exams and did not receive any acceptable grades in any one of the subjects that they took, but this is not considering those who have not entered at all and the percentage of that who entered is extremely small. When we do our calculation at CXC out of the possible population for persons who write the exams at the end of secondary school, just over 20% actually get the opportunity to enter and 13% of those get any acceptable grades. So we can see why this is a concern since we are not producing people for the market to either employ themselves or get employment, and we understand the high number of unemployment among youths.”

Analysing the emerging market trend, Cumberbatch said the region must look at other qualifications other than CSEC to stay abreast with the demands of the marketplace. “If you look at the Caricom Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) Strategy it refers to other qualifications, what we refer to as a wallet of certifications. So that when you leave school it is not only made up of CSEC subjects, but it is also made up of CVQ, and things that show your competence in a particular area. So, we are asking persons to vary their qualifications from just CSEC alone but use the wallet of certifications to bring people into the skills industry. In doing that we are having meetings with business people and also with representatives of the governments of the region to rethink that whole process.”

Cumberbatch also raised the concern that areas such as music, dance and the performing arts which are in high demand, rarely get students writing the exams.

“When you look at the entries for dance and music, you see very few people writing the exams. However musicians etc., they don’t need preferential treatment to trade their skills across boundaries and across countries and can do that quite easily, but we still do not recognise the value of the intellectual property and the creativity that we have in the Caribbean.”

Minister for Education, Human Resource Development Hon. Emmalin Pierre took the opportunity to congratulate the nation’s students who sat the examinations at the CAPE and CSEC level.

Minister Pierre also stressed the need to refocus on the dedication of learning as opposed to the obsession with testing.

“In our system, the best example is the CPEA of this paradigm shift. In the past, the entire focus of primary education was less on mastery of competency on more on passing one shot high stake exams, but the CPEA brings teaching, learning and assessment together in a seamless manner using an assessment to improve on learning. We understand that learning is not an abstract academic thing, it is a multidimensional process and must involve understanding, thinking, doing, questioning and applying.”

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