Dec 17, 2013 News
By the year 2020, the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) will be in a position to ensure that every Caribbean person has the opportunity to have their knowledge, skills and competencies certified. This disclosure was recently made by CXC Registrar, Dr Didacus Jules, who was at the time speaking at a press conference convened at the Pegasus Hotel.
The measure that CXC will be poised to implement, Dr Jules said, will allow for both the in- and out-of-school population, of all ages and stages, to have the opportunity for continuing education for greater certification and preparation for the world of work. “By 2020 we would have enabled differentiated certification for differentiated opportunities…,” said Dr Jules.
This move is being visualised even as “a lot of people in the Caribbean when they talk about CXC exams, refer to CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate), which is our secondary terminal exam, and that is because in many people’s minds CXC is only about one single examination.”
But according to the CXC Registrar, such a perception has to change because in fact “we have a whole suite of examinations; six ranges of certifications starting from the primary level, now a replacement for the Common Entrance Exam, going right up to the associate degree level that literally provides opportunity for someone to move from wherever they are to where they want to get.”
So the strategic plan Dr Jules noted, will see “CXC opening this range of opportunity certification for different purposes and we need to get out of that mindset that says that certification is only about CSECs, school leaving examinations.”
This however, does not mean that moves are being made to “water-down” examinations but on the contrary, the CXC official said that efforts are being made to improve standards, while at the same time providing different forms of certification for different purposes to suit different opportunities. “We really need to get that message across, and we want to appeal to our colleagues in the media to do our marketing plan next year, which is a major thing in 2014, to help us get that understanding across,” said the Registrar.
Moreover, he said that by 2020 CXC will have measures in place to ensure that teaching, learning and assessments are a part of a unified methodology. This is essential, he said, since “you cannot separate teaching from the results of learning, and assessment definitely cannot just stand outside and measure what has been achieved.”
“There are lessons in the measurement that can help improve how we teach and improve how we learn; so all of the information we have about candidate performance and all of that, we are making that increasingly available to Ministries of Education (and) to schools so that they can use an analysis of that performance to in turn inform better teaching, better learning and results improved performance.”
And even as improved performances are being anticipated, Dr Jules said that CXC is also looking to have the results of examinations more accessible by 2020; online and on demand.
The fact that candidates are now able to see their examination results online simply by logging into the CXC’s website is one of the clear indications that the organisation is already an Information Technology (IT) intelligent entity, according to the Registrar. He pointed out that as part of its enhanced IT capabilities; CXC has been able to create Notes Masters, which is an online learning portal that is free for students to follow courses of study related to subjects offered at different levels.
Further still, he noted that even the registration process for examinations has been streamlined and is available to schools online.
In fact, Dr Jules disclosed that “there are a whole range of instructional support material that CXC has now developed and provided to schools and candidates.”
He highlighted the use of IT even as he alluded to the new strategic direction (CXC 20/20) for CXC which is expected to guide its operation until the year 2020 which should see a great deal of transformation.
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