– Overall pass rate declines slightly
By Latoya Giles
Sixteen-year-old Sarah Hakh of Abram Zuil Secondary, has been adjudged this year’s top student for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination after obtaining 16 grade ones. She was followed by Jessica Anthony of Queen’s College, who gained 14 grade ones and two grade twos.
Minister of Education Priya Manickchand made the announcement yesterday morning.
According to the Minister, there has been an overall decline in the performance of students regionally especially in the areas of Mathematics and English. She said that has now become a cause for concern for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), which issued a statement yesterday to this effect. She indicated that based on the statistics, Guyana has an overall six percent decline.
Manickchand said that based on the performance in the May/June 2012 CSEC, CXC has called for action in the region to address deficiencies in the subjects.
She said that for this year, 33 per cent of the entries for Mathematics achieved Grades I — III, which are the acceptable grades at CSEC. However this is a further decline in performance when compared with the last two years. The minister explained that in 2011, 35 per cent earned similar grades and in 2010 the figure stood at 41 per cent.
Manickchand further stated that the CXC body reporting on the performance of the subject to the Final Awards Committee, the Subject Awards Committee (SAC), said it was “deeply concerned about the quality of work produced by candidates at this level.”
“Topics such as the range, perimeter, and profit and loss that should be covered at the lower secondary level were not fully understood,” the SAC reported.
On one question which tested perimeter and area, 36 per cent of the candidates scored no marks. Similarly, on a question which tested algebra, 33 per cent of the candidates scored zero.
According to the Minister, the SAC has called on the region to address the issue of teaching and performance in Mathematics by re-organizing its Mathematics programme, supporting teacher training and facilitating access to instructional resources.
Moreover, Manickchand said that for the third consecutive year, overall performance in the May/June examination has declined. She said that this year 62 per cent of the candidate entries achieved Grades I – III, the acceptable grades; this compared with 66 per cent in 2011 and 69 per cent in 2010.
Of the 62 per cent achieving acceptable grades, 11.30 gained Grade I, 22.39 gained Grade II and 28.46 per cent gained Grade III, Manickchand disclosed.
Thirty-five (35) subjects were offered for the May/June examination this year: performance improved on nine subjects, declined on 19, remained the same on six and one new subject, Additional Mathematics was offered for the first time. Fifty-eight per cent of the entries for Additional Mathematics achieved acceptable grades.
The minister said that after an upward trend for the last three years, performance on English A has declined significantly this year. Forty-seven per cent of the entries for English A achieved Grades I – III this year compared with 67 per cent in 2011, representing a 20 per cent decline.
She said that this year was the first examination since the revised syllabus took effect. The Subject Awards Committee attributed the decline to less than satisfactory performance on Paper Two, the Essay Paper. Manickchand said that the SAC noted that this decline was most obvious in the summary and comprehension questions.
“The SAC has suggested that teaching of the language must enable students to move away from prescribed and rehearsed answers seen in some questions, to the point where they can effectively and appropriately use rhetorical devices that enrich expression and facilitate comprehension” the minister stated.
On English B, performance also declined the minister said when it was compared with 2011, but not as dramatic as on English A. This year, 68 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades, compared with 71 per cent in 2011. This was the first year the revised syllabus was being examined. The Subject Awards Committee reported that candidates’ performance fell down mainly on the Poetry Profile, and this decline affected the overall performance of the subject. Performance on the other two Profiles, Drama and Prose Fiction remained relatively stable.
Meanwhile in Guyana for 2012, Manickchand said that there has been an increase in the number of candidates who did the CSEC examination. The minister noted that private candidates amount to approximately 38% of the total entries. She said that some 13,878 students wrote the exam which saw a significant increase. Manickchand said that there has been an overall pass rate 58.69% including technical and general proficiencies.
She further told the media that Guyana had satisfactory performances in Biology, Caribbean History, Economics, English B, Geography, Office Administration, Physics and Principle of Accounts in relation to other countries. She said that the overall performances in four subject areas were unsatisfactory. The grade one to three passes in these subjects were less than fifty percent. The subjects were Chemistry (46.41%) English A (37.02%) Mathematics (29.69%) and Visual Arts (44.51%).
The Minister said that the most improved performances were seen on Electrical and Electronic Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology. She added that this year 65 per cent of entries for Electrical and Electronic Technology achieved acceptable grades, this compares very favourably with the 44 per cent which achieved the same grades in 2011, representing a 21 per cent improvement. For Mechanical Engineering Technology, there was a 13 per cent improvement, with 69 per cent achieving Grades I – III compared with 56 per cent last year.
There was a six per cent improvement in performance on Integrated Science, with 80 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades compared with 74 per cent in 2011. Clothing and Textiles also registered improved performance this year. Eighty-six per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 81 per cent last year.
Minister Manickchand said that after an upward trend for the last three years, performance on English A has declined significantly this year. She said that forty-seven per cent of the entries for English A achieved Grades I – III this year compared with 67 per cent in 2011, representing a 20 per cent decline.
The minister said that the SAC has suggested that teaching of the language must enable students to move away from prescribed and rehearsed answers seen in some questions, to the point where they can effectively and appropriately use rhetorical devices that enrich expression and facilitate comprehension.
On English B, performance also declined when compared with 2011, but not as dramatic as on English A. This year, 68 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades, compared with 71 per cent in 2011.
This was the first year the revised syllabus was being examined. The Subject Awards Committee reported that candidates’ performance fell down mainly on the Poetry Profile, and this decline.
Top student, Sarah Hakh, hails from Golden Fleece Estate, on the Essequibo Coast. She was understandably elated yesterday after learning of her success. She extended gratitude to Allah and the committed team effort by her parents and teachers which she says accounted for her exceptional performance. Hakh said that she is currently making plans to further her studies in Arts and Science at a foreign University. She told Kaieteur News that she never really liked “heavy studying” but intensified it weeks prior to her exams.
Hakh added she initially had opted to write eleven subjects but chose to write 16 because she did exceedingly well in grades ten and eleven. Her mother, Shareeda Hakh, said her immediate family was expecting Sarah to do well.
Jessica Anthony, daughter of Culture, Youth and Sport Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, told Kaieteur News that she was extremely happy to be among the top performers. Anthony said that her months of long studying had finally paid off. She now intends to enroll into the CAPE programme. Her ambition is to become a cardiologist.
Kaieteur News also managed to get comments from West Demerara Secondary student Meikel Mahabir (13 ones), who said that he never expected to do so well.
“ I expected to do good…but not this good.”
Mahabir said that long nights of studying, and tremendous support from his parents and friends helped with his success. His plans include attending the University of Guyana. He is aiming to become a doctor.
Queen’s College student Benedict Sukra (12 Ones, 2 Twos), was also overjoyed at his performance. Sukra’s next step is preparing for CAPE, then university.
Some of the other leading students are Jennel Cadogan (QC) – 13 Ones 2 twos; Deowattie Narine (The Bishops’ High); Kaleshwar Singh (The Bishops’ High) and Bibi Ameena Nazaralie (Saraswati Vidya Nikitan) all with 13 Ones. Aaidah Bacchus (ISA Islamic Academy) – 12 Ones, 3 twos; Roshelle Sparman (Mackenzie High) – 12 Ones, 1 two, 1 three; Karran Singh (St Rose’s High) -12 Ones, 1 two, 1 three; Vishwati Oudhram (Saraswati Vidya Nikitan ) – 12 Ones, 1 two; Safeya Baksh (QC) – 12 Ones, 1 two; Keshant Samaroo (QC) – 12 Ones, 1 three; Khadija Yussuff (ISA Islamic Academy) – 12 Ones 1 three; and Khemraj Rupee (QC), Kady Singh (Mae’s Secondary) and Kerri Yan (Marian Academy), all with 12 Ones.
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