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CSEC registrar: Half of students failing to get grades 1 to 3

Published: 
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXC) registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch, centre, addresses members of the media during a press conference hosted by the Ministry of Education at Naparima College, San Fernando, yesterday. Also in photo are chief education officer Harrilal Seecharan, left, and Stephen Savoury.

With almost half of the students writing the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations failing to get grades one to three, Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch said dividing the subject into modules is something they can consider.

Cumberbatch was responding to questions at the press conference held at the Naparima College, San Fernando, yesterday, after meeting with students, principals and teachers to address issues with CSEC and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

Already, changes have been made with CXC to include a School Based Assessment for the Mathematics qualifications this year.

Cumberbatch said the Mathematics pass rate in the Caribbean was around just under 50 per cent while English was around 60 per cent.

According to the Ministry of Education’s Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan, the CSEC Mathematics pass rate in T&T has improved by 10 to 17 per cent over the past three years and was around 58 per cent.

At the same time, the English pass rate had increased to roughly 70 per cent. Cumberbatch acknowledged that Mathematics and English were key to many job opportunities and requirements for higher education. He said one country proposed that CXC divide mathematics into modules where geometry, algebra, calculus and other modules would have separate examinations. Each will be done over a period and when finished, it would constitute a mathematics qualification.

“That, however, totally changes the way the schools are organised so that it is something that has to be discussed. The ministries would have to make the adjustments to make that work,” Cumberbatch said.

CXC currently has three committees reviewing History, English and Mathematics with regards to the examinations and syllabuses, taking into consideration the view of teachers and students.

Following the reports from those committees, Cumberbatch said only then would he be able to speak more on the recommendations and whether they can be implemented. However, he said no change will occur that would affect the standard of the examination.

Seecharan said whether or not Mathematics is separated into various modules, all are necessary to function in various professions.

“I think we have to look at ensuring that the standards are met. A question you should ask is why are they (Students) not passing Math? We have identified that we have challenges in the teaching and learning process. Teachers teach concept as opposed to the traditional work and the mechanical approach to Math. We have to address that from the primary school going all the way up in terms of improving the teaching of Mathematics,” Seecharan said.