CXC Urges Use of 35 Years of Data to Improve Student Performance


The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is encouraging regional academics to use the data gathered by the Council over the last 35 years to carry out research aimed at finding ways to improve students’ performance in CXC-administered tests.
Registrar of the CXC, Dr. Didacus Jules, yesterday (Aug. 16), lamented that the Council was sitting on “mountains of information” regarding the performance of Caribbean students in every subject, but that this information is yet to be used in any meaningful study.

Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (right), greets Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council, Dr. Didacus Jules, as he arrives for a press conference on this year’s results for examinations administered by the Council, held at the Overseas Examinations Commission in Kingston today (August 16).

“Think of the possibilities if we were to do some research on the 35 years of data we are sitting on; to be able to analyse that in a time series way, to go back and drill right down to the level of what concepts Jamaica and our Caribbean students have consistently not mastered, and what are the fundamental weaknesses over these 35 years. Think of what that can do for the remediation efforts of our Ministries of Education,” he pointed out.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, disclosed that he has instructed the Overseas Examinations Commission to gather the statistics on the performance of Jamaican students on CXC exams over the last 10 years.
Mr. Holness said he intends to present a Ministry Paper to Parliament with the findings soon.
Dr. Jules stated that such data could help in policy formulation as well as in addressing some of the root problems in the education system.

Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council, Dr. Didacus Jules (left) presents Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Audrey Sewell, with a compact disc (CD) containing the results for Jamaican students in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) tests, during a press conference at the Overseas Examinations Commission in Kingston today (August 16).

As part of the CXC’s new thrust towards improving student performance, the Registrar informed that the regional body was taking steps to correct research deficiencies.
These include the provision of past papers and detailed exam reports, which give an overview of how students perform on each question and areas of weaknesses.
There is also collaboration with the University of the West Indies (UWI) in revising the syllabuses, with the objective of inculcating critical thinking skills in students; and the creation of web portals linking subject teachers so they are able to collaborate and share information.

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