Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Beginning from the 2013/2014 school year, all students graduating from public secondary schools in the Territory will be required to sit the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Examinations, Education and Culture Minister Hon. Myron Walwyn announced this afternoon, June 28.
The Minister, who was speaking at the graduation ceremony for the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) class of 2012 at the Multipurpose Sports Complex, said it is in an effort to make students more globally competitive.
"To improve the quality of secondary education in the Territory and forge continuous training of our teachers. From September 2013, all students graduating from the Elmore Stoutt High School will sit the Caribbean Council examination," the Education Minister stated.
He added that the students will also continue to pursue high school certificates.
The Minister said to facilitate this move, a number of things will have to change that will affect the traditional education administrative system of the secondary schools. He said that he has met with senior educators and is pleased to report that their suggestions for areas of improvement were also taken into consideration.
"...With a collaborative approach, implementation of these stages will begin in the new school year...We ask our community to continue to support our efforts...," the Minister stated.
At the end of May, the Education Ministry along with CXC officials held public meetings to determine whether or not to make CXC the benchmark.
Dr. Didacus Jules, Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of CXC and Gordon Harewood, CXC's Senior Assistant Registrar shared their vision for CXC at the meetings.
Dr. Jules said that he has read the various online comments and the alarming thing is that there appears to be a lack of knowledge of people in the BVI about CXC and its operation.
He pointed out that the Virgin Islands was a signatory to the establishment of CXC, but what has happened since then is a piecemeal and half-hearted approach to CXC.
Within the Virgin Islands, he stated that some 18,000 persons have written the examination and the BVI has performed well, especially in English and Math when compared to the rest of the Caribbean.
He stated that is great potential to move the education system forward, noting that countries in the Caribbean are in serious danger of returning to stratification of the education system.
Dr. Jules also spoke about CXC being accepted in all the major universities in the United States and United Kingdom. He added that the organization has signed articulation letters with universities where students with very good profiles at CXC can get up to two years off, which will help to save money for tertiary education.
During the meeting, one parent described the local school leaving examination as a hindrance for students sitting CXC at St. George's School Secondary Division.
The suggestion was made for the additional year in high school in order to prepare students to sit the CXC exams.
Minister Walwyn has stated that the Government will bear the cost of the initial stages, stating that it is not expensive considering what the Government is trying to achieve.
Principal of ESHS, Melissa Amey stated that there has been an increase in the number of students sitting CXC examinations.
At today's graduation ceremony, 198 students graduated.