Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The Territory recorded a 73% pass mark in the core subjects of Maths and English from students who sat this year's CXC's Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn announced the results in a statement, pointing out that the Territory continues to have 4th formers sit the examinations. He reiterated Government's intention to introduce the CSEC exam at the fifth form level at all public schools starting from the 2013-2014 school year.
According to the figures released by the Minister, of the 239 qualified students in the public system, 177 students registered to sit CSEC examinations. He said that seven of those candidates were form four students of the Bregado Flax Educational Centre; however, due to the transfer of one fourth form student, only six of the candidates eventually sat the examinations.
Students sat exams in 25 subject areas, including core subjects of Mathematics, English Language, Integrated Science and Social Studies.
In the private school system this year, of the 42 students who sat the CXC CSEC examinations, 35 of those were fifth formers, while seven were fourth formers.
According to the Minister, all fifth formers of the two private secondary schools registered to sit at least one subject.
The Territory also entered 27 private candidates, who are not attached to any school, to sit the CXC CSEC examinations.
For English Language, 179 students sat the exams with 140 being successful. According to the Minister, there were 35 Grade 1's, 50 Grade 2's and 55 Grade 3's.
For Mathematics, the Minister pointed out that some 149 candidates sat the examination with 100 candidates reaping success with 22 Grade 1's, 48 Grade 2's and 30 Grade 3's.
Of the 49 candidates that sat Integrated Science, 48 candidates were successful, according to the Minister. He said that there were 5 Grade 1's, 28 Grade 2's and 15 Grade 3's.
In Social Studies, 42 candidates sat the examination and 38 students were successful. There were 4 Grade 1's, 16 Grade 2's and 18 Grade 3's.
Minister Walwyn said that as part of Government's commitment to improving the education offered to students, the Ministry of Education and Culture is making every effort to ensure that all fifth formers, beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, are prepared to write CXC CSEC exams. He said that to bring this to fruition, the Ministry is presently working in collaboration with the CXC, developing plans to have all secondary teachers trained or retrained to manage the preparation of students to write CSEC examinations.
"The logistics for such an endeavour are being worked out and training is scheduled to take place during this coming school year to ensure the success of this venture," the Minister stated.
He added that it is important in today's world to have students sit regional and international examinations to not only prepare them for the global world, but to also provide a benchmark for their own success.
"While many have argued that we do not need the CXC examinations because we have our own School Leaving Examinations, it is clear that this alone is not enough to take our students forward to the best Colleges and Universities. I encourage you to look at another angle as we embrace the CXC CSEC examinations. If all our students are sitting the School Leaving Examinations and doing well, then why shouldn't they be able to do the CXC examinations and do just as well? It stands to reason, that more of our students should be entering for the CXC examinations and do well," Minister Walwyn stated.
Minister Walwyn implored teachers and parents to do their part as the Territory moves to a new phase by making the CSEC examinations mandatory. He also encouraged students to take the examination seriously.
"Students, preparing for CXC examinations may seem like a daunting task, but you have this Government, your teachers, your parents and our wider community on your side. Being successful at CXC examinations is a plus; you would have the five CXC CSEC that employers request; you would have the opportunity to enter tertiary institutions via your CXC results; you would have the opportunity to be compared with the best among the region based on your results," the Minister stated.
He said that it is encouraging to note that fourth formers are writing CXC CSEC examinations.
"If there are fourth form students who are capable or writing these examinations and passing them, then why shouldn't all our fifth formers write and achieve success in these examinations?" the Minister questioned.
He said that to ensure that all students receive a fair chance at writing CXC CSEC examinations, the Ministry of Education and Culture will cover the costs for examinations over the next two years.
"The Ministry of Education and Culture realises that change is never instant; we realise that there may be setbacks or resistance to such an endeavour, however, we are committed and will stand fast to ensure that that our students are given the same opportunities for educational success as their counterparts throughout the region," the Minister noted.