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CSEC results holding steady, says ministry

Published: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Harrilal Seecharan, Chief Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, left, with Minister of Education Anthony Garcia at the ministry’s Port-of-Spain office after Friday’s press conference. Photo by:ANISTO ALVES

Ministry of Education Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan said the preliminary results of this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) showed students wrote more subjects obtained more grade ones this year compared to last year.

Speaking during a press conference at the ministry’s Port-of-Spain offices on Friday, Seecharan said overall the assessment showed a high degree of comparability between 2016 and 2017. He said this year a total of 21,533 students wrote the exam , comprising government, government-assisted and private schools as well as private candidates.

The exam, which was written in 33 subjects, had a total of 109, 273 subjects entries as opposed to 106,016 in 2016, representing a slight increase.

At CSEC, Seecharan said grades one, two and three are considered passes, adding, “We had passing grades in 67.78 per cent of the subject entries. This was comparable to approximately 67 per cent to the passing rate in 2016.

“However, because we had an increase in the number of subject entries, we actually had more students passing more subjects overall... approximately 3257 more grade ones, twos and threes.”

A comparison of the subjects from 2016 to this year showed there were higher pass rates for 16 of the 33 subjects written and overall, out of the 33 subjects there were 22 subjects with higher than 70 per cent pass rates. These subjects include add math, biology, agriculture, economics, French, music, office administration, principles of accounts and principles of business.

He said this year 58.1 per cent of candidates who wrote the exam obtained five subjects and more.

“However, because of the change in numbers we actually had more students getting five subjects and more...7,690 in 2017 compared to 7,380 in 2016,” Seecharan added.

He added: “We had a small increase in English A. The pass rate for English A this year is actually 73 per cent compared to 72 per cent last year. In math the pass from 2011, 2012, 2013...roughly the pass rate across the entire population is approximately 40 per cent, so it’s an area we’ve been working on and in 2017 the pass rate is approximately 53 per cent and in 2016 it was 54 per cent.

“But we have small variations from year to year which may not necessarily be specifically significant and because we had more candidates writing we may have had a greater number of students passing the subject.”