Member of Parliament for Marriaqua, Girlyn Miguel. (IWN photo)

Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel says St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) should celebrate the national pass rate of 71 per cent in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination, two percentage points more than 2013.

She, however, also called for closer attention to the quality of some of the passes.

“While we are pleased to report that there is an improvement this year in the majority of the schools in the CSEC, we admit that we have to pay close attention to the quality of the passes and to the performance of our students on some of the most critical profiles, such as comprehension, expression, and application,” she told a ceremony in Kingstown last week, where the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) released officially the results of this year’s exams.

Charles Mayenga, senior assistant registrar of CXC’s Examination Administration and Security Division, told the ceremony that Vincentian students outperformed their colleagues across the region in 16 units of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

The 16 units were: French Units 1&2, environmental science units 1&2, geography unit 2, accounting unit 1, communication studies, computer science unit 1, literatures in English unit 1, biology unit 1, computer science unit 2, biology unit 2, management of businesses unit 1, chemistry unit 1, law unit 1, and sociology unit 1.

The ceremony was held to launch the results of the 2014 CXC exams.

Mayenga said 88 per cent of the Vincentian students who sat CAPE exams this year attained acceptable grades (Grade I-V), compared to a regional 90 per cent.

And, out of 34 units, SVG attained 90 per cent acceptable grades in 19 units, and 75 per cent acceptable grades in 31 Units.

In the CSEC exams, SVG obtained

100 per cent acceptable grades (Grades I-III) in agricultural science double award, building technology, and religious education.

SVG also performed better than the region, overall, obtaining a 66 per cent pass rate, compared to the regional 61 per cent.

In 21 out of the 32 subjects, SVG had better overall performance compared to the regional performance.

The 21 subjects were: religious education, agricultural science, building technology (construction), physical education, electronic document preparation and management, home economic management, physical, information technology, economics, building technology  (woods), principles of business, chemistry, clothing and textiles, integrated science (single award), French, visual arts, English (literature) geography, principles of accounts, office administration, and social studies.

Miguel thanked and congratulated teachers and students and expressed hope that the overall pass rate will continue to improve.

She said the performance of students in CAPE is “decidedly commendable”, adding that the director and staff of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College must be acknowledged for work they continue to do to prepare students for the labour market and their entry into higher education.

The results of the CSEC have shown noticeable improvement over last year’s, the education minister said, noting that the pass rate in mathematics has moved from 28.44 per cent in 2013 to 47.03 per cent in 2014

“While this is dramatic and a cause for joy, we must be cautioned to measure this success against the backdrop of the challenges which exist in the global arena where mathematical literacy is premium and indispensible in development,” Miguel said.

She said that in Asia, for example, students’ performance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is excellent and ranks at the top of the global scale.

This positions Asia strategically for enhanced development and achievement, Miguel said.

The performance of students in mathematics in the United States, however, has fallen below past standards and one can see the impact of this decline on economic development in the region, she further stated.

“Let us therefore, as a Caribbean region, focus on improving our students’ learning and performance, not only in mathematics, but also in the STEM subjects, in order to position the region strategically in the global arena. Remember, we are not competing in this small crucible, which is the Caribbean Basin, but in the whole globe, which is the developed world.”

Miguel also pointed out that the overall pass rate in English language increased from 58.92 per cent to 61.54 per cent.

“This is a modest improvement on which we must continue to build if we are to compete meaningfully, not with ourselves, but, with the world.

“While 71 per cent of the cohort was awarded passing grades at CSEC, it must be noted that only 41.7 per cent gained passes in five subjects, including mathematics, and English A. Naturally, as a ministry, we need to examine the registration data very carefully to ensure that all of the students in the cohort were actually registered for both subjects at the CSEC level,” Miguel said.

2 replies on “Education Minister wants better quality passes at CXC”

  1. Steve Huggins says:

    EVERY thing being equal, this was a fair attempt by the Ministry and the CXC official to give early preliminary analyses of the most recent SVG CXC results, including at the more advanced (CAPE) level, though with the understandable need to put the most favourable light on our students’ 2014 results.

    As in our internal SVG comparative analyses, the real situation of our charges can perhaps be best ascertained by a thorough-going wider regional comparison in all areas, subject disciplines, actual singular grades/QUALITY OF GRADES, profiles, categories or subject areas, and strategically determined and targeting major subjects.

    In doing this we will quickly find it necessary to do a similar micro – macro assessment such as we do at home [or used to until the arrival of the politically correct, overly timid ‘softie’ do-gooders and those who were flabbergasted with the phenomenon of some of the highly reputed urban secondary schools being solidly whipped [AS IN THE HISTORIC CASE OF SVG JUNIOR NETBALL] in these crucial academic areas.

    Why do certain COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN countries and, or, schools outperform our SVG nationals in many of these indices and discilines?

    The parameters for the true answers could be set by asking SIMILAR QUESTIONS which we used to ask nationally: WHY DOES/DID PREP SCHOOL USUALLY OUTPERFORM THE OTHER PRIMARY SCHOOLS – – – and NOW no longer ?

    WHY did Grammar School and Girls High, in additon to St. Marin’s Secondary and Convent, historically ourperform the other secondary schools ?

    And, WHY DID ST. MARTINS displace the Grammar School, WHILE Girls High School maintain its premier place vis-a-vis the CONVENT HIGH SCHOOL ?

    THEREIN lie the answers as to the WHYS?

    Then, we need to go further and TAKE THE REQUISITE REMEDIAL ACTIONS TO TOTALLY REMEDY THE EXISTING SITUATION.

    A few phenomena are also rapidly imposing themselves on our SVG society and thereby significantly impacting our SVG student performances in more recent years — and act as stubborn constraints on our students’ performances.

    There are clearly increasing incidences and cases of young children, youth and students being exposed to regular and frequent sidestream smoke from or abuse/use of marijuana. Sorry, but especially at such delicately young ages, and the continuing physical-electrochemical development of their brains, this habitual occurance can be easily proven to be having comparatively major dents in our students’ mental perceptions and academic performances, not to omit the negative behavioural responses of some in this cohort.

    The students at the Community College [the former Sixth Form . . .], the SVG School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the SVG Teachers’ College URGENTLY need to do sociological and social science studies of the increasingly delerious impact of our deteriorating family life patterns and family structures on our education system, moreso in recent years. Sorry, the politicians don’t dare say it. And, other civic and social leaders tend to skirt the matter all too gingerly. But, it must be categorically stated. Our school children are increasingly being hampered by our increasingly more unstable and chaotic family life in all too many cases. Broken and upside down family life is seriously taking a very heavy toll on our children, youth and students — and negatively affecting their academic achievements and behavioural performances. A strong family system is a filip to any couple, extended family, community and nation. Yes, am fully apprised of the tragic destruction wreaked upon our famiy system by the evils of slavery. Yet, enough generaltions have gone by for us to now renew our determination and national resolve to beat back this once-imposed problematic condition. As a still young nation, we simply must defeat this problem BEFORE WE CAN ADEQUATELY EXCEL AND DOMINATE AT THE REGIONAL ACADEMIC SCENE. Sorry, but OTHER Caricom countries have noticeably made much more progress in this social aspect than we have. A broken family system is the bane of any society.

    The elitist secular-materialist philosophies of HIGHER CRITICISM, so-called ‘Organic Evolution’, SOCIALISM/COMMUNISM, pseudo-Liberalism, and SECULAR HUMANISM, together with situational ethics and general permissiveness, have all combined to further exacerbate our particular national problems related to family life and structure – – – making real solutions to our problems of student academic achievement and performances next to unattainable. By working back on those vexing causative factors, SVG can truly tackle its broader causative academic problems head-on. Of course, we can freely choose, instead, to follow like the childfen of Hamelin, the modern Pied Piper of supposed “modern” Western WHITE EURO-AMERICAN civilized DEGENERATION AND SOCIAL DECADENCE which they have arrived at by overdevelopment and national aging. We in SVG MUST BUCK THE TREND or descend into the abyss of the imminent “fall” of the 21st Century’s contemporary ROMAN EMPIRE.

    I do perceive that the worthy struggle to salvage our SVG students’ academic performances and achieve our very highest national potential of full international excellence, is essentially THE SAME NATIONAL STRUGGLE TO SEE SVG SURVIVE THE PRESENT AND FAST DEVELOPING GLOBAL THREATS TO OUR CONTINUED EXISTENCE AS A NEWLY EMERGENT NATION.

    Quo Vadis, my dearly beloved HAIROUNA, the high potential Commonwealth Caribbean STATE of St. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES (SVG).

    I lovingly repeat: SVG, QUO VADIS ?

  2. The only way is up for our archipelago and the region as we continue to stress the importance of education and quality education. We are not perfect, exemplified by the points the minister, educator Miguel notes but certainly that often criticized project called the Education Revolution with all its imperfections is paying dividends and will in the future. This one goes beyond the boundaries..
    DR

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