With 19 grade one passes, the nation’s top Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate [CSEC] examination performer this year is a male student of the country’s premier secondary school – Queen’s College [QC]. This is according to reliable information filtered to this publication.
QC has over the years been able to consistently produce top performing students at the Caribbean Examinations Council [CXC]-administered examination.
In fact the school’s head teacher, Ms. Jackie Benn had told this publication last year that achieving the outstanding results was as direct result of the strong partnership between teachers and students, the school has been able to maintain over the years.
According to Benn, a plan was crafted to with the view of bringing into being an enabling environment for students to learn. The plan, Benn said, has been working well for her school.
QC has over the years been producing many top performing students who have over the years opted to write much more than the 11 subjects that the school’s timetable would easily allow. Last year QC’s Michael Bhopaul wrote 25 subjects of which he secured 21 distinctions, and was named the national top performer.
Several other schools have also been producing students opting to write a large number of subjects.
But the Ministry of Education had last year made it clear that students will not be permitted to write many subjects if they do not have the ability to matriculate. Chief Education Officer [CEO], Mr. Marcel Hutson, had said that “if we allow our children to write [many subjects], particularly in our junior secondary schools, it will affect their performance and we don’t want their performance to be affected.”
The CEO had noted that the Ministry does not intend to spread its resources thin at the expense of students not being able to matriculate.
Although a circular was disseminated throughout secondary schools, that limited the number of subjects students will be able to write, at the senior and junior secondary schools, Hutson explained that the Ministry has also made provision for exceptional students.
Based on the circular, students of senior secondary schools were limited to 10 subjects and those of junior secondary schools were limited to six. Since alternative provisions were made for exceptional students, Hutson assured, that students who were capable would still be allowed to write as many subjects as they like.
In an interview with this publication, Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry, had explained further that students would be allowed to write as many additional subjects as they like based on the recommendation coming from individual schools.
“If your school recommends that you do so many subjects, then so be it…they make their recommendations based on performance; so based on your performance they can even recommend you to do 30 something [subjects] or based on your performance they could recommend that you do five…that has always been the case and will remain the case,” said Minister Henry, even as she asserted that the school system is always required to work with rules and regulation.
Moreover, the Minister amplified that the focus of her Ministry is more on quality of performance and not on the quantity of subjects written.
“The number of subjects, this can get you some attention, [but] it is not our primary focus, our focus is to ensure that students in the secondary schools are able to matriculate, and that is to pass Mathematics and English,” asserted Minister Henry.
The official release of the results of the 2018 CSEC examination, along with the results of the 2018 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), will occur tomorrow at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development [NCERD] in Kingston, Georgetown, at 13:00 hours, a statement from the Education Ministry said.
According to reports reaching this publication, the Ministry of Education will have a lot to celebrate, since based on the results, Guyana’s performance this year has noticeably improved.
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