Kaieteur News – The educational authorities are attempting to milk the results of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). They seem overjoyed by the fact that the pass rate for CAPE has increased from 90.86% to 93.22%; and the pass rate jumped from 66.3% to 68.5%
But that is only one metric for each of the levels of secondary examinations. Nothing has been said about what percentage of students passed five or more CSEC subjects, including Mathematics and English.
In order to get a job in the Public Service you need four CSEC subjects, unless you have Godfather or Godmother in the system who will waive the requirements. In the past it used to be five subjects including English and Mathematics.
The general entry requirement for the University of Guyana used to be five subjects including English and Mathematics. The entry level requirements for employment into most private sector entities is the same.
But we are yet to hear or read what percentage of those sitting the CSEC examinations got five or more subjects at the 2022 examinations. We are yet to learn what percentage got five or more subjects including Mathematics and English.
We are also yet to be told about the pass rate for Mathematics and English and whether four out of every 10 students are still failing these subjects. We are yet to be told about the pass rates in each of the Region and including a breakdown for English and Mathematics.
Each year we are reading either about marginal improvements or marginal declines in English and Mathematics. That is not going to produce the sort of workforce which is needed for the modern and transformative economy which the Government contends is being established.
The Government is always keen to parade the top performers when they make the announcement of the results. But they should be circumspect, since there have been misrepresentation and embarrassment in the past. The final determination of the top students is usually done based upon criteria set and determined by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). And that process has to await the outcome of the appeal of the grades which usually takes one month. So it is not until October that the country is likely to know the overall top performer and top performers in Science, Arts, Technical and Vocational Studies, Humanities, Short Story and Visual Arts.
A few years ago, there was also a terrible controversy concerning the CAPE results. The CAPE results are done in two units and you cannot judge the overall top achievers solely by passes at one unit. The results of two units, usually done over a period of two years, have to be combined. The authorities therefore have to be careful. They can speak about top performers but not rank these performers until the CXC is finished with the review process. By mid-October, the ranking of local top performers will be made public.
Our students continue however to make a mockery of the Caribbean Examinations Council. One student passed as many as 28 subjects. For the past few years students have been writing and passing, with excellent grades, as many as 20 plus subjects.
There is a reason why students are writing so many subjects at CSEC, apart from testing their limits. The CXC offers scholarships to the top performers at CSEC but strangely does not do this for CAPE.
The students are desperate for these awards and so they are writing as many subjects as they can to obtain the awards at CSEC. For CAPE, the CXC does not offer scholarship but the Government does and thus there is also fierce competition for these scholarships.
The large number of subjects which Guyanese students are writing has posed a credibility problem for the examinations. Persons are beginning to question how anyone can humanly pass so many subjects and with such excellent grades unless these students are geniuses or the examinations are too easy.
There is no doubt that Guyana has the finest students in the Caribbean. No question about that. But these students are being put under immense pressure because of the desire to win these scholarships which are offered by the CXC.
The CXC has to begin to look at this issue. The purpose of the examinations is not to fail anyone but to help develop their capabilities and intellect but with these students writing so many subjects it raises questions about the examinations.
The CXC needs to find a way to move the incentive more towards CAPE rather than CSEC. And at the same time to find a way of encouraging academic excellence without students having to write so many subjects.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Oct 06, 2022…Ramdhani siblings in Mixed Doubles quarter-finals Kaieteur News – It was a good showing for the country’s three-member badminton team at the South American Games in Paraguay. Priyanna...
Oct 06, 2022
Oct 06, 2022
Oct 06, 2022
Oct 06, 2022
Oct 06, 2022
Kaieteur News – I would rate India’s foreign minister as one of the world’s most articulate global figures and... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]