- Students’ performance improved in 14 of the 35 subjects taken in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination.
- Of significance was the 13 per cent increase in passes in the core subject of Mathematics, which recorded the largest improvement overall, moving from 42 per cent last year to 56 per cent this year.
- Rev. Thwaites pointed out that the second largest increase in passes at the CSEC level has been recorded in Physics, which moved by nine per cent from 69 per cent to 78 per cent.
Students’ performance improved in 14 of the 35 subjects taken in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination.
This was disclosed by Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites during a press conference on August 12 at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices in Kingston, where he provided the results of both the CSEC and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
Of significance was the 13 per cent increase in passes in the core subject of Mathematics, which recorded the largest improvement overall, moving from 42 per cent last year to 56 per cent this year.
The Minister noted that 56 per cent of the Grade 11 cohort sat the Mathematics examination, which he said is an improvement over last year, “but this is not good enough.”
He informed that 23,351 students sat the Mathematics examination this year, compared to 22,870 last year, which is an increase of 481.
Rev. Thwaites pointed out that the second largest increase in passes at the CSEC level has been recorded in Physics, which moved by nine per cent from 69 per cent to 78 per cent.
In terms of Additional Mathematics, the Minister informed that students’ performance improved by seven per cent, moving from 67 per cent to 73 per cent. He said that overall, the sciences group recorded the largest improvement of seven percentage points.
The Minister attributed the improved performance in Mathematics to a number of initiatives implemented by the Ministry’s National Mathematics Team, including targeted support since 2012 for 96 schools classified as being on the cusp of doing better and /or those institutions with weaknesses that needed improvement.
He noted for example, that Papine High School has improved by 39 per cent in Mathematics. In addition, Mona High School had a 26 per cent increase in their passes in Mathematics, while Pembroke Hall improved by 13 per cent in the subject.
The Minister pointed out that another strategy employed was a revision of the CSEC Mathematics curriculum from Grade seven to 11, to improve the teaching of the subject over a five-year period. The document was developed from a pilot of six secondary schools and sponsored by the NCB Foundation.
In addition, a number of workshops were held for teachers, targeting weak areas as identified in CSEC reports and the student profiles.
Turning to English Language, the Minister noted that a total of 26,527sudents sat the examination and 17,613 passed. He pointed out that of the 64 per cent of the Grade 11 cohort that sat the examination, there was an improvement in passes over last year of two per cent, moving from 64 per cent to 66 per cent.
The Minister noted that the grades are broken down into two profiles – understanding and expression – noting that while students continue to receive A for understanding, “far too many students…receive low grades for expression of English.”
“This points out to us the need for far more reading, for far more speaking in English in the classroom situations and in other situations. It is a traditional problem and it underscores the imperative for teachers to provide adequate opportunities for practice and feedback on students’ writing,” he said.
At the CAPE level, the Minister pointed out that there was a 10 per cent increase in the number of CAPE Unit One entries and a seven per cent increase for Unit two.
There were 54,972 entries in 25 subject areas, with 48,416 (88 per cent) of the entries attaining grades one to five.
In the meantime, there was a 100 per cent pass in Digital Media, which is a new subject. A total of 17 students sat the examination.